National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Alice in Wonderland


Type Other , Sculpture

     An ovoid sculpture with relief craving on both sides. On the side facing away from the school the rim is formed by waves of a young woman's hair. Her head is depicted in profile on the right, and she appears to be sleeping. A young girl is shown in profile running across the relief, her ponytail blending with the hair of the sleeping figure. At he left of the relief, the focus of the running figure's pursuit is a rabbit, in a jacket and carrying a pocket watch about to disappear through a whole, the surrounding to which has been painted with a dark colour to emphasise the recession. The reverse face also contains this pierces element. On the left of the relief a male figure with a large hat with a price ticket in it, sits on a chair and holds a tea cup. A row of men kneel before the figure of a queen with a billowing cloak who holds a flamingo, next to her stands a knight. These figures carry the coloured symbols for suits within a deck of cards, the Queen has hearts along the hem of her skirt, the knight has clubs on his armour and the kneeling figures wear diamonds. The depiction of the figures in profile encourages a sequential and narrative reading of the subject matter.
     Ritchie was givien a free choice in the subject matter fro his school-commissions. He originally intended to use Robinson Crusoe as his subject here in Binley, changing to the Lewis Carroll theme during friendly negiotiations with the Education Committee.(1)
     The theme of the work is the children's novel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. On one side is depicted the 'real world' with Alice about to chase the White Rabbit down the whole, on the other are characters form her experiences in the fantasy world of Wonderland, the Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts. The sleeping figure depicted in the 'reality' panel suggests that both scenes are in the girl's dream and thus works of her imagination.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Ritchie, Walter Sculptor
Barnsley, Geoffrey Architect

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Relief Portland stone 213cm long

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WAruBIxx001 BM
General condition Fair
Surface condition
  • Accretions
  • Biological growth
Structural condition
  • None
Road Friars Close
Precise location Binley Woods County Primary School
A-Z ref None
OS ref SP403772
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1956
Unveiling details 1956
Commissioned by Warwickshire County Council
Duty of care Binley Woods County Primary School
Listing status Don't know
At risk? No known risk

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