Richard Knill Freeman

Bolton architect

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Villa delle Palme, San Remo (Sanremo), Italy

Knill Freeman designed a house in San Remo for his younger brother, Dr Alfred Freeman. The house, like the one in Moscow, was kept low in height and the Builder of 6 April 1889 stated: “the whole of the upper part is in timber framing, pegged together with oak. Similar construction has been found the most successful in Northwich and similar districts where subsidences are are of frequent occurrence.” It was designed to be resistant to earthquakes.

Dr Alfred Freeman was a popular doctor in San Remo; perhaps not surprising since he once prescribed a patient with typhoid fever “sulphonel, bromide, and champagne”. He was active in the Continental Anglo-American Medical Society, chairing several of their meetings. His character, as described in his obituary in the British Medical Journal, appears to be the complete opposite of that of his older brother: “…his cheery presence, his keen joy in life, his absence of guilefulness, made him beloved by his patients and the friend of all his colleagues”.

A year later, the BMJ reported:

“THE friends of the late Dr. Freeman of San Remo have resolved that his great services to that health resort should be commemorated in some permanent way. It is proposed to place a stained-glass window in the church of All Saints, with which he was long associated, and also to found some other memorial unconnected with any church.”

The window is still there.

Despite much searching, I have been unable to locate the house, Villa delle Palme, in San Remo.


Meath, Reginald Brabazon; The diaries of Mary, Countess of Meath

The Builder, 6 April 1889

British Medical Journal, 3 December 1904