The Real-Life Brickworks: The Kilns

The Kilns in Headington, England, the former home of C. S. Lewis.
The Kilns in Headington, England, the former home of C. S. Lewis.

I took my inspiration for Brickworks, the Professor’s house in A Window in an Unlikely Place, from the home of C. S. Lewis, called the Kilns.  My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing the Kilns (few real-life places are so magical) from the inside while I was studying at the University of Oxford in 2007.  The Kilns is named after the ovens outside the house, which were already there when Lewis bought it, and which perhaps had once been used for baking bricks.  In fact, the name for this type of factory is a “brickworks.”

We were at the Kilns for a dinner that the the curators put on for the Oxford University C. S. Lewis Society, of which my wife and I were members.  After dinner, there was a reading of various poems and short works inspired by Lewis.  I read my “Grubwad Memo,” inspired by The Screwtape Letters and subsequently published in CSL: The Bulletin of the New York C. S. Lewis Society.

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