Monday, 12 March 2012

Guildford Reckie.

Spent the afternoon in Guildford looking round the castle grounds. Lewis Carroll had a family home overlooking the site and died here in 1898. This local connection means that there's been some interest in taking the show here after we've played Ham House.

The site is substantially smaller and I think if we do come here it'll have to be with a drastically scaled down version - but it might produce an interesting contrast with Ham. Carroll was already famous as the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland when he bought the house here in 1868 but it's thought that much of Through the Looking Glass was written here. A statue behind the house commemorates the fact.

I walked through the castle gate to the county museum which has a small collection of memorabilia, including some of Carroll's childhood toys, before crossing the river Wey by the old bridge and climbing up the Mount to the cemetery where he's buried. His grave, underneath a Yew tree, near the entrance overlooks the town. Perhaps in keeping with the image I've developed of Carroll since I began researching his life the site feels lonely and out of place, a long way away from Oxford and the monastic comfort of Christchurch.

Back on the river bank another statue shows Alice and her older sister Lorina reading, whilst a rabbit skips past, suggesting the start of the whole new adventure, but its dwarfed by the huge Debenhams on the opposite bank and the constant flow of traffic, heading for the Portsmouth Road.


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