As Disney releases its new trailer for ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, we find homes for sale in or near places that Alice or Lewis Carroll, may have had a connection.
Alice in Wonderland is 150 years old this year. And Disney has just released its teaser trailer for ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, which opens at cinemas in May 2016. But where did she come from and where did she go? To celebrate the 150th anniversary, we enter a wonderland of properties for sale in or near places that Alice or her creator, Lewis Carroll, may have had a link to, or perhaps might have found inspirational today. There is plenty of room for tea parties in these dream homes.
Dyrham, Gloucestershire £795,000
It was while boating with the young Alice Liddell that Lewis Carroll made up his famous tale, naming his lead character after her. Not only does this charming cottage look like somewhere Alice might have found in Wonderland, its lake is perfect for boating. There’s a summer house by the lake, and the quirky curves of the thatched stone building are enchanting.
Call Winkworth’s Bath office on 01225 829000; winkworth.co.uk/bath
Lewes Crescent, Brighton, East Sussex £925,000
Lewis Carroll had a sister who lived at Sussex Square in Brighton’s Kemp Town area, built in the 1820s. It is thought that the Kemp Town Enclosures, a communal garden area, was the inspiration behind Alice’s rabbit hole. There is a brick tunnel, leading from the gardens to a seafront terrace. This three-bedroom flat is in one of the Regency terraces in Lewes Crescent, which may have itself provided inspiration for the author’s pseudonym.
Call Winkworth’s Hove office on 01273 772175; winkworth.co.uk/brighton-hove
Thame, Oxfordshire £1.3m
Lewis and Alice’s boating trip was on the River Isis from Oxford, where Lewis remained after going up to study maths. Isis is the name given to the Thames above the Iffley Lock. Nearby, the town of Thame takes its name from the River Thame, which joins the Thames southeast of the lock. This elegant Georgian house is on the historic High Street, yet secluded in its gardens, and comes with a variety of outbuildings.
Call Winkworth’s Oxford office on 01865 511333; winkworth.co.uk/oxford
Ower, Romsey, Hants Offers over £750,000
Alice Liddell grew up and married, then settled near Lyndhurst in the New Forest. This four-bedroom family home has a two-bed annex, which could be let out to holidaymakers in this picturesque part of the country. There’s a half-acre garden and easy access to the M27.
Call Winkworth’s Romsey office on 01794 511911; winkworth.co.uk/romsey
Longcross, Surrey £1.6m
“You can draw water out of a water well,” said the Hatter; “so I should think you could draw treacle out of a treacle well – eh, stupid?”
At the Mad Hatter’s tea party, Alice is shushed for disbelieving the Dormouse’s story about a treacle well. Treacle mines are said to exist in several parts of the country, but one explanation is that soldiers camping on Chobham Common left stores behind when they went off to fight in the Crimean War. As the site was dismantled, some of the barrels were buried to save moving them. Locals dug them up and were ever after known as treacle miners. A couple of miles up the road, this luxury barn features triple height ceilings, so could even accommodate a very tall Alice.
Call Winkworth’s Weybridge office on 01932 854400; winkworth.co.uk/weybridge
Spanish Place, W1U £6.5m
The Mad Hatter is one of Lewis’s most lovable creations. According to Lock & Co, St James’s, the world’s oldest hat shop; “It is claimed that James Benning, an eccentric member of the Lock family and a servant of Dodgson, inspired the memorable Mad Hatter character”. (www.lockhatters.co.uk). And just the other side of Mayfair is this three-bedroom town house. It underwent a complete refurbishment in 2002 and is perfect for any sort of tea party.
Call Winkworth’s Marylebone office on 020 7467 5770; winkworth.co.uk/marylebone
Victoria Street, London SW1H £925,000
Alice Liddell’s father, Henry, (of Liddell and Scott’s Lexicon fame) was headmaster at Westminster School at the time of her birth. They moved to Oxford in 1855 when Henry became dean of Christ Church and Alice was three. This brand new studio apartment is minutes from the school and Westminster Abbey, where there is a memorial to Lewis in Poet’s Corner. Interestingly, The British Library is holding an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ exhibition (www.bl.uk/events/alice-in-wonderland-exhibition) from November 20, 2015 – April 17, 2016.
Call Winkworth’s Pimlico office 020 7828 1786; winkworth.co.uk/pimlico-westminster
Guildford, Surrey Offers over £1m
Lewis died in Guildford in 1898. He spent the last year of his life there with his unmarried sisters who lived in a house he’d bought for them next to the castle ruins. He often spent time there throughout his life, and wrote Alice ‘Through The Looking Glass’ during one of his stays. He is buried in the cemetery on The Mount. This four-bedroom house is in a quiet, private road within walking distance of the town centre.
Call Winkworth’s Guildford office on 01483 339977; winkworth.co.uk/guildford