Ronald K. Brind

C.S. Lewis in Oxford

A Guide for Visitors

The Gresham Boys

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Two boys about the same age as me had suddenly arrived at the Kilns; Douglas and David Gresham. I got friendly with Douglas and was soon invited into the house brushing past the jacket tails of C S Lewis, ‘Jack’ as Douglas and I referred to him later, but little did I realize that this man was to change the hearts and minds of millions of people throughout the world, indeed continues to do so! Neither did I think for one minute that fifty years later I would be offering a tour in Oxford for visitors from all over the world, as well has having written my book, and now an ebook titled ‘C S Lewis in Oxford: A Guide for Visitors’ available from Amazon at in an attempt to preserve the Lewis legacy.

Douglas and I explored the Kilns; meaning the lake, woodlands and surrounding area and got into plenty of mischief, as 12 year old boys did in those days, but the house and bedrooms also allowed us access to the attic; a place of magical memories you might think. In reality there was nothing in the attic apart from two cut glass decanters hiding, or having been hidden away between the ceiling rafters that Jack let me take home to my parents. Those decanters are in the US today being appreciated by a very good friend of mine, but shall I let you into another secret, there was no wardrobe in the attic, it never existed!

David Gresham was very different to Douglas in that he never wanted to get involved with the adventure and mischief that Douglas and I managed to find, he was always in the library and paid little attention to anything outside of his own world, whatever that may have been.

So yes, I was a boyhood friend of Lewis’s step-sons Douglas and David Gresham who visited the Kilns well before they arrived on the scene and was to become a regular visitor to the Lewis household soon after. Indeed, this makes my feelings all the more acute that the lifetime surroundings of this great literary figure should be valued and afforded more respect and attention (other than the passion from the American people who often see the visit as a pilgrimage) than is currently the case here in the UK!

For anyone who is interested in the life of this celebrated author, I have combined my own life-long interest with extensive research to produce a comprehensive guide of the Oxford area, taking in all the sites of significance in the story of C S Lewis.

My hope is that I can encourage visitors from all over the world to visit Oxford and to follow in the footsteps of the many pilgrims who have already visited the ‘Kilns’, Holy Trinity Church, the Lewis brothers grave in the Churchyard, the Eagle and Child, Magdalen College and other places of interest. Please enjoy it, live it and feel close to a wonderful man, you can then bask in the memories forever!

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