All Saints Lewis Carroll Centre, Daresbury
A child from Daresbury village
Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Revd Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was a child from Daresbury village. He lived here for the first 11 years of his life, from 1832 to 1843. He became the famous writer of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass when he was a lecturer at Oxford University. Visitors come from all over the world to see the famous Lewis Carroll window in our church.
A much-loved vicar
Lewis Carroll’s father, another Revd Charles Dodgson, was the much-loved vicar here for 16 years, from 1827 to 1843. Young Charles and nine of his ten brothers and sisters were born at the Old Parsonage, since demolished and now known as ‘The Birthplace’ and cared for by the National Trust. When the Revd Dodgson was moving on to a new parish, the churchwarden’s tribute showed how much the family had meant to the parish.
An old idea takes shape
The idea for a Lewis Carroll Centre at Daresbury has been under discussion for at least 20 years. A number of plans were considered over the years but came to nothing. Finally, with the help of national, regional and local funding bodies, the All Saints Lewis Carroll Centre, Daresbury began to take shape in late 2009. It was to be a small addition to the church.
Work on the new Centre is now complete. Admission free.
Something for everyone
At All Saints, the door is always open and visitors are welcome to come in. The church is there for pilgrims as well as Lewis Carroll enthusiasts. Some visitors want only a few moments of quiet; others are looking for more information and interpretation. Once the Centre is open, the enthusiastic body of parish volunteers are going to have more to offer.
The new Lewis Carroll Centre
The Centre, built in the local sandstone and semi-circular in shape, will have tall, elegant windows to let in the daylight, as well as display lighting. Graphic panels will explore the family background and life of Lewis Carroll and there will be space for schools and interest groups to meet and work. Over the door will hang the mission bell that used to call the canal folk to Revd Dodgson’s floating chapel at Preston Brook. Audio programs include readings from Lewis Carroll's works by the famous performers Ken Dodd and Dillie Keane.
Providing for the future
To meet the needs of future events, church services and education and visitor groups, the church itself has been given new, sophisticated lighting and sound systems. A new, small Bookshop will sell Lewis Carroll souvenirs (including the new Wonderland game), as well as Christian items and booklets on the church’s history and the famous Lewis Carroll window. There are also audio programs to provide the context for a visit to All Saints, where Lewis Carroll was young Charlie Dodgson and his father was the vicar, in the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign.