Discover the people and places that inspired Narnia
Blogs, Family, Belfast, Co. Down, Experiences
Published March 15, 2017
It's no secret that Northern Ireland is home to some of the world's greatest writers: Seamus Heaney, Brian Friel, Samuel Beckett, Louis MacNeice and of course, C.S. Lewis. Discover more about Northern Ireland's great writer and journey with us as we explore the people and places that inspired Narnia and his other works.
Courtesy of Bradley Quinn
On the Trail of C.S. Lewis in Belfast
C.S Lewis spent the first ten years of his childhood in East Belfast. During this time many of the people he met, the places he visited and things that he saw influenced him and later, his writings.
Start at C.S. Lewis Square where seven sculptures created by Irish artist Maurice Harron are on display. Each sculpture is based on characters from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: Aslan, Maugrim, Mr and Mrs Beaver, the Robin, the White Witch, the Stone Table and Mr Tumnus.
Next up, visit EastSide Visitor Centre - located on the Newtownards Road - where you can access information on the city's attractions, or simply enjoy a coffee at the JACK coffee bar affectionately named after C.S Lewis who was known as 'Jack' to his close friends and family.
(Courtesy of Bradley Quinn)
Based on the character of Digory Kirke who was 'The Magician's Nephew' in the story of Narnia, The Searcher statue is a wonderful dedication to C.S Lewis.The status shows Kirke (depicted as C.S Lewis himself as he was in 1919) open the famous wardrobe which Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy enter Narnia from.
The sculpture was created by Northern Ireland artist Ross Wilson who in his own words wanted to capture the "great ideas of sacrifice, redemption, victory, and freedom for the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve" that lie at the heart of the 'Chronicles of Narnia.'
St. Mark's Church is a great place of interest; it was Lewis's local church and the place where he was baptised on the 29 January 1899.There is a stained glass window in the church, donated by the Lewis brothers in memory of their parents, designed by the Irish artist Michael Healy.
A visit to the C.S Lewis Reading Room situated in the library at Queen's University is a must. A replica of the wardrobe door used in the feature film, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, marks the entrance to the room. The carpets and central table are also based on Narnia themes.
Located in the tower area of Floor 1 of The McClay Library, you'll find a replica of the wardrobe used in the 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' which marks the entrance to the room.
In addition, the university holds letters from C.S Lewis to his friend Captain Bernard Acworth - donated to the university in 2012 - the ten rare unpublished letters are held in the the C.S Lewis Reading room.
It is the Mourne Mountains that is believed to have provided the inspiration for Narnia. He wrote of the scenery here "it made me feel that at any moment a giant might raise its head over the next ridge".
Follow the Narnia Trail through Kilbroney Forest in Rostrevor where the story of Narnia is brought to life in a short family loop trail.
Explore more of Lewis's Narnia by planning a short break to Northern Ireland and discover the landscapes that inspired this great writer.
Posted by Mags
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