Friday, October 10, 2008

C.S. Lewis Buys a House

October 11, 1930, C.S. Lewis moved into his new home, The Kilns, in Headington Quarry just a few miles from Oxford. The home was purchased for £3,300, along with some eight acres of land.

The Kilns, named after the nearby brick kilns, would be Lewis's home until his death in 1963. Unable to afford it on their own, Lewis and his brother Warren put in £1,500, while Mrs. Janie Moore helped them with the remaining amount. While the home was in Mrs. Moore's name, legal stipulations left the home to Lewis and Warren, then, upon their passing, to Mrs. Moore's daughter, Maureen.

After Warren Lewis's death in 1973, the home was sold to various owners and is now owned by the C.S. Lewis Foundation of Redlands, California.

Featured in two chapters of my book Conversations with C.S. Lewis, The Kilns played an important role in Lewis's life. In my book I wrote, "The home seemed to have sprung up out of the earth ..." I think this is one reason Lewis liked it.

The home was, unfortunately, sort of a mess. Students of Lewis did not at all like having to stop by, referring to it as the "midden" -- an Old English word for pig sty. But after Lewis married Joy Gresham she took matters in hand and fixed up the place.

For an article about the restoration of the home, see "The House Where Jack Wrote".

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