Tolkien News

Birmingham Visitor Attractions offer New Tolkien Trail

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Often, Tolkien is associated with the city of Oxford, and in order to understand Tolkien and his life, people visit Oxford. However, an often neglected fact is that Tolkien grew up in Birmingham. Whether the Sarehole Mill or Moseley Bog, Birmingham inspired his writings about characters and places. Now, Birmingham offers a Tolkien Trail. Visitors and tourists can explore the city and all those places that are connected to Tolkien. The best thing about the trail? It is for free! Leaflets will be available at Birmingham Welcome Centres and visitor attractions throughout Birmingham, including Sarehole Mill.

Sarehole Mill

Sarehole Mill

Chris Rice, co-ordinator of the new trail said:

JRR Tolkien is one of Birmingham’s most famous sons so it is great to that we are able to properly tell the story of his links with the city. I hope the trail will be of just as much interest to local people as the many thousands of tourists who visit the city each year to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps.

Not only does the Tolkien trail allow visitors to get to know the life of the author a bit more, it also gives new information on possible inspirations for Middle-earth. For example, it is assumed that Tolkien came across ‘Gamgee tissues’ as the local name for cotton wool which was invented by a Birmingham surgeon, Dr. Joseph Gamgee, whose widow lived opposite Tolkien’s aunt. The Sarehole Mill, for example, is a place where JRR and his brother spend many hours investigating, only to be chased off by the miller’s son (whom they called ‘White Ogre’). Later, in the 60’s Tolkien contributed to a public appeal to restore the mill. Nowadays, a blue plaque can be found attached to the mill, honouring JRR Tolkien.

Planning your trip to Birmingham already? You can find the leaflet online over here! For more information, you can also visit the homepage of Birmingham Museums!

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One Comment

  1. ben .bringmann says:

    Love Tolkien many years now

    Nice website you have

    Are going to follow it

    Best wishes, ben (The Netherlands)