Ronald K. Brind

C.S. Lewis in Oxford

A Guide for Visitors

Food for thought

The C S Lewis Foundation (CSLF) of Redlands, California currently own the ‘Kilns’ in Lewis Close, Risinghurst, Headington, Oxford and have stated that the former home is not a public place, neither is it a museum.

Stan Mattson, Founder and President of the CSLF has previously written to me stating that he will never open it up on a full time basis. I say it should be restored to what it was really like and then opened up to the world for visitors to see exactly how Lewis brothers Jack and Warnie lived in comparative squalor from 1930-1973 and yet gave everything!

What does the CSLF spend generous donations from the American people on? According to an email I have from those who have previously occupied the ‘Kilns’ as Managers and/or Wardens they stated they received “very little funding for the upkeep”.

The Lewis brothers grave in Holy Trinity Church isn’t as well looked after as one would wish for, although things have got better recently along with the grave of the two Mrs Moore’s once resident at the ‘Kilns’, but in any case what is the money spent on, where does it go?

Why isn’t the CSLF be more actively engaged in looking after the things that the average visitor should be permitted to gain access to, create a Shrine somewhere in Oxford for example?

Shouldn’t the CSLF be responsible for some kind of C S Lewis Visitor Centre or Museum in Oxford to see artifacts, purchase memorabilia, souvenirs etc? I think it would make a lot of pilgrims very happy to be able to visit something considered ‘close’ to this great man. I have previously sought permission to do this in Oxford City and have been turned down by the C S Lewis Company but why are they the only people allowed to make profit out of the name C S Lewis?

I consider the former Lewis home the ‘Kilns’ part of Britain’s Christian Heritage and I want it back. On that basis I hope one day to be able to negotiate with the CSLF to purchase or lease the property from them to be able to return things to the days of Douglas and myself who thoroughly enjoyed everything it had to offer.

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