For our daughter Katie’s high school graduation, Dear and I took her to Great Britain in April of 2004. Katie is a reader, a learner, a writer, a poet and an artist. We asked her what she’d want to see and she came up with the brilliant idea of following some of her favorite authors and characters around the Isle! This is a photo log of our trip that we can highly recommend to all lovers of Hobbits, Inklings, Literary Giants, 19th Century England, Harry Potter, and wacky Holy Grail enthusiasts! For my flashbacks I’m going to cover less ground in each post. This first post will be our Oxford experience with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien on our radar. The photos on this trip were taken the old fashioned way with a camera that was still using film!
The Eagle and Child (The Bird and Baby) Oxford
We set out from our first B & B base in Cheltenham to tour Oxford. We were still getting over our jet lag just arriving the day before. We found a park and ride outside of Oxford and rode a bus into town. Our first stop was The Eagle and Child (The Bird and the Baby) where the Inklings would meet and discuss their current writings, thoughts, etc.
The pictures on the wall are of C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and other Inklings, plus letters, etc. We had a bite to eat and a pint was raised to toast our respected authors! “It comes in pints?”
Dear and Katie on Addison’s Walk. This walkway is on the grounds of Magdalen College (pronounced Maudlin) where Tolkien and Lewis would walk and have long conversations, after which C. S. Lewis converted to Christianity. We found it, walked it and reflected on the beauty and wonder of it all!
This next photo shows a spot on the walkway that we took a photo from different directions in 2004 and in 2014.
And here’s one of the beautiful courtyards that we took photos of both of these years.
We saw the iconic phone booth on the grounds of Magdalen, too.
Walking from Magdalen College back to the center of town we saw other familiar sites, too.
The Bridge of Sighs
In 2004 when we came across Logic Lane Katie insisted that we take a photo of her dad under the sign. In 2014 we came upon Logic Lane again so I had to take another photo.
We walked about to find this address where Tolkien lived at 21 Merton St. after his wife died in 1971.
Katie would not let us leave Oxford till we found Tolkien’s grave. This was no small feat! Here we are at Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford at the graveside where he and his wife are buried. His son is buried here, also. Katie left a note in Elvish, (yes, she learned to write and speak Tolkien’s Elvish).
EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
1889 – 1971
1892 – 1973
Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford
We headed back to our B & B in Cheltenham to rest up for our next days adventure around the Cotswolds in search of Hobbits.
The thing about film photography is that we didn’t know if the photos we took even turned out well till we were home and had the film developed. Aren’t you happy we have digital cameras now? You can see if you chopped someone’s head off or missed the top of a beautiful cathedral etc. These photos that I took with film in 2004 were scanned and uploaded onto my computer and in a lot of cases lightened up and sharpened and sometimes cropped.
Now we await our time in Oxford in 2022. We still do not cling too tightly to this trip as we know anything can change on the world landscape in a day. Trusting God if we go or if we can’t go.