Purcell has recently completed work on the new Lewis Carroll Centre for Daresbury Church.
The centre is themed on Carroll’s connection with Daresbury, where he was born in 1832 and reflects the Lewis Carroll memorial windows in the main church and other nearby interventions, including the monument of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in nearby Warrington, .
Constructed in local Cheshire sandstone, the centre matches the colour, texture and origin of that of the church. The centre also houses the mission bell rung by Carroll’s father to alert parishioners as he preached from a barge moored at various points along nearby waterways.
To implement the design, we obtained planning permission and approvals from the Diocesan Advisory Committee and English Heritage. An initial archaeological study of the graveyard was also required to record and relocate significant stones within the graveyard.
To minimise the impact of the building work on the churchyard, the centre’s stone floor and underlying reinforced concrete floor were laid on top of a small bore pin piling system, in preference to conducting large scale excavation works. A tree consultant was also consulted in relation to encroaching tree roots.
The finished building contains many delightful features. A secret design element is concealed in the building’s roof and local artists were employed to decorate the centre, including the cathedral’s artist in residence, Christine Wilcox Baker, who designed several of the window etchings.