When J.R.R. Tolkien was a boy growing up in Birmingham, he would have passed the 18th century tower called Perrot’s Folly on his way to and from school. Along with other Birmingham landmarks like Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog, it’s thought to have been an inspiration to the young author.
Unfortunately, over the years, the iconic tower has fallen into disrepair. According to 24dash.com, “the dilapidated tower is a Grade II listed building and is on the national Buildings at Risk register.” The Trident Reach the People Charity, who manage the site, estimate that £1 million would be needed to restore the tower for use as a center for young artists and art exhibitions.
The charity has declared Lizzy Jordan as the “artist in residence.” To raise awareness for the cause, she has a number of community art projects planned for the next year.
“Perrott’s Folly is an awe-inspiring structure,” said Benjamin Bradley, a spokesman for the charity. “It is steeped in history and, as a model for the Twin Towers, is believed to be a key inspiration behind The Lord of the Rings […] Such an impressive landmark should be brought back into use for the community to safeguard its future and to allow the public – including Lord of the Rings fans – to enjoy it for many years to come.”
Of course it’s a worthy project; it’s for charity and has a relation to Tolkien, but the tower is just also really cool! John Perrot built the tower in 1758 on the remains of a medieval hunting park. At 96 feet tall, the tower has 139 stone steps that lead to seven rooms. The kid in me can’t help imagining all sorts of fairytales!