Alice's Shop, or The Old Sheep Shop

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Alice's Shop, or The Old Sheep Shop
83 St. Aldates
Oxford, OX1 1RA UK
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Tel: 01-865-723793
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Oxford, UK: Alice's Sweets Shop, 138 Years Later

Alice's Shop, or The Old Sheep Shop

John Tenniel was heavily inspired by his Oxford surroundings in creating the indelible illustrations for Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

For the scene in which Alice finds herself in a shop run by a bespectacled sheep, he sketched the shop where the girl who inspired the stories, Alice Liddell, used to buy barley sugar sweets, and flipped the drawing to create a mirror image of the real thing. (Lore has it the shopkeeper had a bleating voice like a sheep, so Carroll made her an actual sheep in the story.)

The original 1830s shop still stands across the road from Christ Church College—only now, in addition to sweets, it stocks all manner of Carroll-themed curiosities. But don't mistake Alice's Shop for your standard quick-buck souvenir emporium: There's a real curator's eye at work here.

You'll find the shop's own writing paper sets, limited-edition Alice-inspired artwork by a litany of English artists (such as these notecards by Suzette Broad), a March Hare candle snuffer, Victorian-style masks of the Mad Hatter and crew and reproduction toys and trinkets galore—much of it handmade, most of it whispering "Buy me."

Photo: Alice's Shop

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