THE Warrington links to Lewis Carroll and the Alice in Wonderland stories are well known.

Today marks the 173rd anniversary of his birth.

But a book says there could be many more connections with the town than just the stain glassed window at Daresbury Church.

Carroll was the pen name of Charles Dodgson, one of 11 children of Rev Dodgson who spent the first 11 years of his life living in Daresbury parsonage where his dad was the rector of the parish.

Walton Hall owner Gilbert Greenall was patron of the church.

In her book The A-Z of Warrington, historian Janice Hayes says there are many potential incidents that may have stuck in the mind of the child.

Warrington Guardian: Bewsey Old Hall

And she said the White Rabbit which featured in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland could have been inspired by a legend of Bewsey Old Hall.

Bewsey Old Hall She said:”Around 1840 local historian James Kendrick wrote about ‘a beautiful white rabbit which for time immemorial has visited the possessor of Bewsey and this timid wanderer has been known to vanish leaving its pursuers to grasp the empty air’.

“Carroll’s godfather, TV. Bayne, was a friend of Kendrick and as headmaster of the Boteler Grammar School knew the Rector of Warrington who was the brother of the owner of Bewsey – so did Bayne recite the story to his godson?

“Although this is speculation, we do know that in November 1840 the Dodgson family visited an exhibition which Bayne had helped to organise in Warrington Market Place.

Warrington Guardian:

The exhibition in 1840 “A bewildering collection of more than 800 exhibits awaited the Dodgsons with paintings, models of machinery and manufactures, philosophical apparatus, specimens of natural history and objects of curiosity and interest Charles and his mother and father had their silhouette portraits done and then set off to look around.

“While the adults marvelled at paintings and Queen Victoria’s autograph Carroll and Bayne’s son could explore such delights as exotic foreign birds, including parrots and a dried human head.

“The strangest exhibit awaited them in the Philosophical and Apparatus Room where the Invisible Girl could be seen only at specified times – ‘Curiouser and curiouser’ as Carroll would later write in Alice’s adventures! Could this optical illusion have been one of the inspirations for Alice’s changing shape in her underground adventures?”

It is fitting then that a sculpture of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party sits opposite the site of that exhibition.