Carroll's father was Rector of Croft church and Archdeacon of Richmond
from 1843-1868. Carroll was 11 when he came to live on the Tees.
was one of 11 brothers and sisters, and first started making up
stories to entertain his family.
of "Alice in Wonderland" is said to have been set in and
around the rectory and church.
first verse of the famous nonsense poem "Jabberwocky"
was written at Croft. Local historian David Simpson thinks it was
based on the legend of the Sockburn Worm.
lies to the east of Croft, further down the Tees.
church has a sedilia - a seat for the clergy built into the wall
- at one end of which is a carved stone face of a cat or lion.
this have been the original Cheshire Cat? Seen from a pew it has
a smile as wide as that famous moggy's.
if you stand up, the grin seems to disappear, just as it eventually
does in "Alice in Wonderland".
Carroll, real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, created the inscrutable
evaporating feline for his "Alice in Wonderland".
I've often seen a cat without a grin,' thought Alice; `but a
grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in
all my life!'
Alice in Wonderland, 1865
1950 the floorboards of Croft rectory were taken up. They had lain
undisturbed since Carroll's time.
were found various Victorian artefacts, which may have belonged
to Carroll's family.
are still kept at the church, and include a child's shoe, and a
of the white Rabbit's gloves?
shoe is just the type that Alice might have worn, and the glove
is reminiscent of the White Rabbit's gloves in "Alice in Wonderland".
took this photo of Tennyson's niece in Croft.
Carroll was multi-talented to say the least.
was famous not only as a writer and mathematician, but also as a
the right is a photo of Alfred Lord Tennyson's niece which Carroll
took in the gardens of Croft rectory in 1857.
to Tees Trail page.