Alice Liddell, daughter of the Dean of Christ Church College, inspired Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on July 4, 1865. It’s believed that while out on a boating excursion, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, told Alice and her sisters the fantasy tale of a girl named Alice, who fell down the rabbit-hole and found herself in Wonderland. Alice asked Dodgson to write the story down for her, and the author eventually presented her with the first copy of what would become a literary classic.
This anecdote is a favorite among literary enthusiasts, but her life after it is not as well-known.
According to local rumors, the real-life Alice became the love interest of Prince Leopold, the youngest son of Queen Victoria. However, she eventually married professional cricketer Reginald Hargreaves in Westminster Abbey. They lived at the now-demolished Cuffnells mansion in Lyndhurst, Hampshire, and had three sons. After her husband’s death, Alice visited America and met Peter Llewellyn Davies, one of the brothers who inspired J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.
Mrs. Hargreaves passed away in 1934 at the age of 82, and her body was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. Her ashes were buried in the graveyard of St Michael and All Angels church in Lyndhurst. A memorial plaque can be found in the cemetery dedicated to her life, which reads: “Mrs. Reginald Hargreaves, the “Alice ” in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.”
Know Before You Go
The memorial can be found at the graveyard of St Michael and All Angels church in Lyndhurst.
From the main door of the church, follow the narrow tarmac path round the back of the church and to the right. The grave is set in the ground near where the path ends.
There is a path up the nuuk from the street to the church and level access around it.