The Museum Upper Gallery is home to a magnificent gilt framed mirror, which would have hung at Cufnells in Lyndhurst at the time that Alice Hargreaves (nee. Liddell) lived there.
Alice Hargreaves, who was the inspiration for the fictional Alice of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’, grew up in Oxford and married Reginald Hargreaves, owner of Cufnells. Alice is said to have remarked that she had found her own ‘Wonderland’ when she first arrived there.
Alice and Reginald had three sons, two of whom were killed in the First World War. A plaque in St Michael’s and All Angels church in Lyndhurst, commemorates their deaths. Alice died in 1934 and her ashes are buried in the graveyard at the church. Red and white roses have been planted over the family grave, but no other reference is made to Alice’s link to the fictional Alice, and her memorial plaque names her as ‘Mrs Reginald Hargreaves’.
The mirror, was kindly donated to the New Forest Museum by Mrs Betty Sheffield of Brockenhurst, whose husband acquired the mirror at an auction of Cufnell’s effects in 1953 after the house had been demolished.