Northern Ireland news

£2.5m CS Lewis square officially opens in east Belfast on writer's anniversary

A statue of Aslan in CS Lewis Square at the intersection of the Connswater and Comber Greenways in east Belfast. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker

A NEW square named after one of the north's most famous writers, CS Lewis, has officially opened in east Belfast.

The square at the intersection of the Connswater and Comber Greenways was opened on Tuesday night - the 53rd anniversary of the author's death at the age of 64.

Seven sculptures by Irish artist Maurice Harron, all based on characters from Lewis' book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, were unveiled in the square.

The sculptures show the lion Aslan; Jadis the White Witch; Mr and Mrs Beaver; the faun Mr Tumnus; the wolf Maugrim; the Robin and the Stone Table.

Lewis' stepson Douglas Gresham, whose mother Joy married the author in 1956, spoke about his step father before he formally opened the £2.5 million square.

Three hundred trees have been planted around the space, which can hold up to 2,000 people at public events.

Dancers and musicians, including members of the Ulster Orchestra and harpist Nollaig Brolly, performed live on Tuesday night.

Seven short films, one for each statue, were also shown to the several hundred people who attended the opening.

Born in Belfast in 1898, Lewis was an academic and novelist who wrote several books on Christianity, including The Screwtape Letters and The Pilgrim's Regress.

However, he was best known for his children's books, the seven-volume series The Chronicles of Narnia.

Known as Jack to his family, Clive Staples Lewis grew up in east Belfast before being sent to boarding school in England.

Although he spent most of his life in England, Lewis often visited the north and went on honeymoon to the Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, in 1958.

He died on 22 November 1963 - the same day as US President John F Kennedy was assassinated.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news