C.S.Lewis - C S Lewis Tours in Oxford, England

C.S.Lewis Tours
A journey into the life and times of Clive Staples Lewis

About the tour More Pictures Booking Tour Reviews Email Links
Lewis Awareness Book Reviews Letters
A Guide to the C.S.Lewis Tour in Oxford - Reserve your signed copy now! - Click here

Book your London Hotels & Oxford Hotels with
www.PicturesOfEngland.com -
Official Sponsors of the C.S.Lewis Tour

Click here for the 'Save Narnia' protest letters

'A Guide to the C. S. Lewis Tour in Oxford'
~ Letters ~

Dear Mr Brind

You may remember that we spoke a couple of weeks ago when, after we had embarked upon your wonderful tour using your book, you very kindly allowed me to telephone you and spared your time to talk to me about C S Lewis and the tour.

As you know, we had become fascinated by Lewis and Joy Davidman through research for our production of the play about them, "Shadowlands" which we have just completed the run of here in Portsmouth.

We had an amazing and very emotional week performing the play, which was rapturously received by packed audiences and made a deep impression on all those who saw it as well as those of us who were involved directly in it. Once again I would like to thank you sincerely for the inspiration that your book, tour and words provided us with. This gave us that extra touch of identification with the characters and enabled us to make our performances that bit more real as a result of having walked in the very footsteps that Joy and "Jack" did.

As promised, I included an ad for your wonderful book and the work you are doing to promote the awareness of C S Lewis in our programmes and have taken every opportunity to mention all of this to friends and cast members.

I would love to send you a copy of the programme along with our press review and preview if you would be interested to see these. If so, please email me your address and I will get these items posted to you post haste!

If you would be interested in seeing some photographs of our production, you can view a catalogue of them at the following web site :-http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tonyneal@btopenworld.com/my_photos You will see that this also features catalogues for a couple of our other productions.

Finally, on behalf of myself and Kerry (who you will remember played Joy) I would like to thank you once again for the time and inspiration that you gave us.

Yours truly
John-Paul McCrohon

Trust 'destroying the real Narnia'
Courtesy: The Oxford Times 31 March 2006. www.theoxfordtimes.net

A Wildlife Trust has come under fire for cutting down trees in the tranquil woodland that helped inspire C.S. Lewis to write 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. The land next to the author's former home in Risinghurst, known as "the real Narnia," is now a nature reserve.

But Narnia has come under attack from chain saws, insists the man who organises Oxford C.S. Lewis Tours. And he says the local wildlife trust BBOWT is to blame.

Ronald Brind says the trust has needlessly cut down many trees and are changing the character of the woodland that proved an inspiration to the Oxford don, who became known around the world for his Narnia books.

Mr Brind, author of 'A Guide to the C. S. Lewis Tour in Oxford', said many foreign visitors who visit Lewis's old home are horrified by the shabby state of the reserve.

But the wildlife trust, which own the C. S. Lewis Reserve, strongly defended their work which is part of a long term strategy to deter vandals and make the reserve more accessible to visitors.

Mr Brind was a boyhood friend of Lewis's stepson, Dougie Gresham, and was a regular visitor to the author's household. He said: "They have been up there with chain saws. When I asked what was going on they told me they were taking out all the non-native species. It is disgusting and scandalous. They include trees with three foot trunks that have taken sixty and seventy years to grow. American visitors who come here in search of Lewis are distraught, they think it is horrific. This was C.S. Lewis back garden for more than 30 years."

Mr Brind has also complained about the state of the lake and the amount of rubbish strewn about the reserve.

With the Walt Disney version of the classic book certain to renew visitor interest in Lewis this summer, one local resident commented: "The wood looks dreadful. I suppose it will get better in time. But they are destroying mature trees which Lewis himself would have known."

BBOWT said local people had been consulted about a strategy to clean up the reserve after repeated problems with vandals, rubbish dumping and scramble bikes.

Sophie Lewis, of BBOWT, said sycamore trees had been cut down to lighten up the site and encourage wildlife and undergrowth.

Ms Lewis said: "Because of their rapid rate of growth, the trees that have been cut down would not have been there when C.S.Lewis was walking around.
" Mr Brind wants a lovely place to take American tourists to. But that is not our primary concern."

Reproduced with permission of The Oxford Times www.theoxfordtimes.net

Note from Ron Brind: This is typical of what I am up against. I believe these people are nothing more than environmental 'do-gooders' who are prepared to destroy our history, without any consideration for brothers Clive Staples and Warren Hamilton Lewis, who lived at the Kilns for over 30 years, and poet Shelley who was believed to have meditated there, and sailed paper boats on the lake. It is the very reason we must continue to fight for control of this important site, regardless of how long it takes. One day I hope we will be able to open up the whole of the site, having restored it to what it was whilst Jack and Warnie were living there, to visitors the world over. This is part of Britains Christian Heritage, and I want it back for future generations!

Response to The Oxford Times, and The Oxford Mail re Trust 'destroying the real Narnia'.

I read with great interest the article about "Narnia under threat" (The Oxford Times, March 31 2006). A personal visit to the C.S. Lewis Nature Reserve confirmed the scene as described by Ronald Brind. The destruction I witnessed was breathtaking! An entire row of trees embracing the path now gone; remnants of an exquisite tree at least 15 inches in circumference waiting to be chopped up while squirrels scampered over their former home; ancient vines which had hugged sycamore trees now lying in piles for kindling. There can be absolutely no excuse for this ravishing of the woods. How on earth will destroying trees prevent vandalism and at what cost? The inane remark of Sophie Lewis about Mr. Brind only wanting a lovely place to take American tourists reveals how off the mark she and the BBOWT truly are. The primary concern of the British as well as the American people should be the preservation of wildlife areas, not their wanton destruction. Shame on the BBOWT!

Christina Grazer
Bank Cottage
Wiggenhall St. Germans
01553 617-498


I wanted to take a moment and compliment you on your excellent tour.

For over 2 years now, I have been researching C.S. Lewis for an upcoming production that I wrote about his life. I can truly say that of all the reference materials I have used, I would rank your tour at the top! Seeing the locales of Lewis' life, hearing your fascinating first hand accounts of your encounters with him and the family, all helped to solidify my information and impressions of "Jack".

It is so apparent that you are not just giving a tour, you are manning a crusade to help preserve the life and legacy of a literary and Christian treasure.

Ron, best wishes to you and your family. Thank you again, your tour was the highlight of my trip to England.



J.T. Turner

'Has C S Lewis influenced you - submit your letter for publication on the website'

To buy the book 'A Guide to the C.S. Lewis Tour in Oxford' click here

Book your London Hotels & Oxford Hotels with www.PicturesOfEngland.com - Official Sponsors of the C.S.Lewis Tour

www.VisitTheKilns.com - Plan your visit to the Kilns, the former home of C. S. Lewis with the help of Ron Brind - a frequent visitor!

~~~ Back to Top ~~~