OS Grid ref:-SJ5782
An island farm; mid seas of corn,
Swayed by the wandering breath of morn,
The happy spot where I was born"
so wrote Lewis Carroll, author of the children's classics 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass' , of his childhood home of the Cheshire village of Daresbury.
Carroll (27 January 1832 - 14 January 1898), was born in the Old Parsonage at Daresbury, near Warrington. He was the son of the Rector of All Saint's Church in the village and his real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He was the eldest son but already the third child of the four-and-a-half-year-old marriage. Eight more children were to follow. The author's formative years were spent in the small farming community. During his early youth he was educated at home. His "reading lists" preserved in the family archives testify to a precocious intellect. At the age of twelve he was sent to Richmond Grammar School (now part of Richmond School) at nearby Richmond and later attended Rugby School.
Young Charles' father was an active and highly conservative clergyman of the Anglican church who later became Archdeacon of Richmond. When Charles was around eleven years old the family moved to Yorkshire when his father took up an appointment there. The Old Parsonage, which lay about two miles south east of Daresbury, was demolished in 1883.
The village inn, 'The Ring o'Bells' was once a coaching inn, both it and Daresbury Hall would both have been known to young Charles. The tall tower of the Van de Graaff accelerator forms part of the SRC Daresbury Laboratory which was established in 1962.
The Ring o'Bells at Daresbury and Daresbury Hall
Daresbury Hall, a former country house, was built in 1759 for George Heron. The house is constructed in brown brick with stone dressings, and has a slate roof. Its architectural style is Georgian. The house has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.
All Saints Church
Red sandtone All Saints Church stands at the heart of the village.
A church has occupied the site since the 12th century, the present Gothic style structure dates from 1872, but the tower is 16th century, as is the pulpit, adorned with a variety of carvings (including one similar to the griffin in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) and the unusual screen.
This chapel is at the east end of the south aisle is known as the Daniell Chapel. At its east end is the window which includes characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The window was placed in the church in 1935, following the establishment of a memorial fund to celebrate the centenary of Carroll's birth. It was designed by Geoffrey Webb and depicts a nativity scene.
The church contains a number of beautiful stained glass windows. In the churchyard can be seen the 16th century octagonal font in which Lewis Carroll was baptised.
The new All Saints Lewis Carroll Centre which adjoins the church, celebrates the village’s most famous son , the creator of Alice and all her adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. It also features displays covering the Victorian author's many interests and how his Daresbury childhood influenced the man he became.
Nearby places of interest
Lewis Carroll Centenary Wood and Daresbury Parsonage owned by the Woodland Trust, was planted in early 2000 to commemorate the centenary of the death of Lewis Carroll , situated adjacent to the site of his birthplace, Daresbury Parsonage, now owned by the National Trust.
Walton Hall Gardens, situated to the south west of Warrington, was originally part of a much larger country estate, purchased in 1812 by the famous Greenall brewing family.