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Letter: Disappointed The Plaque From Lewis Carroll’s House Has Gone

Published on: 31 May, 2015
Updated on: 31 May, 2015

From Lynne Hanson

Upon visiting Guildford last weekend, we stopped at the home of Lewis Carroll and was so disappointed to see that the plaque had gone.

A photo of the metal plaque supplied by Lynne Harrison and taken years before it was removed.

A photo of the metal plaque supplied by Lynne Harrison and taken years before it was removed.

My partner took me there specifically to see the house, as my son (who is now 33 and lives in New York), has always been a fan of the Alice in Wonderland book and has every copy conceivable.

I thought that photos of the house would be the icing on the cake to his collection.

My partner couldn’t believe it when we walked up the hill and the plaque that was once on the brick gatepost was gone.

He said: “Well, I guess I’ll have to dig out the old photo albums. I know I have a picture of it somewhere!”

[Ed: As many local readers may know, the plaque on the gatepost of the Chestnuts in Castle Hill, once the home of members of the Revd Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s (aka the writer Lewis Carroll) family has long been removed from the gatepost. It is believed that the current owners of the house, who do not live there, had it removed for ‘safe keeping’.]

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Responses to Letter: Disappointed The Plaque From Lewis Carroll’s House Has Gone

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    June 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

    For some years now there have been repeated requests to the lead councillors responsible for tourism to have this plaque replaced. But despite promises from them nothing has happened.

    It is particularly poignant that this year is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The town in which Alice Liddell was born is to mark the occasion, but we in Guildford will not do so.

    Lewis Carroll is buried in The Mount Cemetery and his grave is visited by his admirers from many counties. They must be disappointed to see condition of this grave.

    The Carroll connection is perhaps an important one to boost the tourist trade, but sadly it has never been fully developed.

    [Ed: Alice Liddle is recognised as the inspiration for the character Alice, which Lewis Carroll created. Bernard does not tell us which ‘town’ Alice was born in. Could it be Westminster in London?]

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    June 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I picked this item up from The Times and I am not sure which town was mentioned but of course her father was at Westminster School at one time.

    Frankly, I have never been a fan of Alice. Rather a Rupert Bear Man myself!

    One thing I would like to add is that this event is being marked in many locations except in the very town where Carroll once had a house and is buried. Perhaps we should ask why?

    [Ed: Is that because Armed Forces Day is taking up all the resources? Would anyone else like to comment?]

  3. Shirley West Reply

    June 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Well I never. How funny this article has come up on the Chestnuts.

    I have a friend staying with me from Canada and I was so embarrassed when she asked to see Lewis Carroll’s house, because I know that it is an eyesore.

    And having no plaque she felt that Guildford has let down all the visitors that come here to see his house and his grave on this very special 150th anniversary year.

  4. Mary Bedforth Reply

    June 3, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Is a photo of the grave in its current condition available?

    • Chaz Folkes Reply

      June 4, 2015 at 10:50 am

      There are a few photos on Flickr.

      This one was taken three years ago.

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