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The Knoll – Centre of Social Life in Sussex

17.1 x 9.8 mtr (56 x 32 ft) First design as submitted by artist. General William Fenwick-Williams, K.C.B. – a hero of the Crimean War, built “the Knoll” on 229 Church Avenue, once the showplace of Sussex, in 1862 for his two sisters. The structure was a work of the builder’s art with the great hall, wide curving stairway and ballroom, and native ash woodwork. The beautiful furnishings, rich mahogany, paintings and heavy plate that made the house one for gracious living were brought from England. During Williams’ residence the Knoll with grounds extending over 100 acres with luxurious flower gardens was the centre of social live in Sussex. The glory of the Knoll, where once all distinguished visitors to Sussex and Camp Sussex were entertained, has long ago departed, and this once beautiful residence was razed in 1961. Peter chose to illustrate a garden party thrown by Sir Williams, when he was in residence at the Knoll. He made a larger scale depiction of him over the doorway, and portrayed him in his military outfit, complete with his military sword. Sir Williams also appears as a small-scale character at the right of the banquet table, seated, not in military garb. The artist: Peter Bresnen – born in Montreal, Quebec, now residing in Halifax, NS – received a diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Art and Design in 1976, and later his Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1981. He has been painting murals since 1981, mostly in Eastern Canada. In 1988 he was one of 3 successful artists to paint a mural in Chemainus, BC. Previous to his career as a mural painter, he was a traditional painter of landscapes, seascapes and architectural subjects and had various solo exhibitions.


  • 561 Main Street
    Sussex, N.B
    E4E 1Y7