Tolkien fans are eagerly awaiting a new small screen version of the Lord of the Rings from Amazon Prime, which could air in December 2021 – the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of the original ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ movie.
Filmed in New Zealand, where the movies were set, the new series is bound to rekindle worldwide interest in all things Tolkien.
For those looking to follow in the cult author’s footsteps, there are plenty of connections to discover in East Yorkshire and Staffordshire.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are among the most famous works of fiction in English Literature, yet few people realise J R R Tolkien spent about 18 months in East Yorkshire during World War 1.
During his stays there, Tolkien wrote a number of poems and stories, took inspiration from the landscape and some of the place names, and even created two mythological languages!
Today, visitors can explore the ‘Tolkien Triangle’ – including the Yorkshire Wolds village, Wetwang, which made an appearance in the ‘Fellowship of the Ring’.
And there are more links at Roos, near Withernsea, where in 1917, his wife, Edith, danced for him in a wood while he was stationed at a nearby camp, an event that inspired the tale of ‘Beren and Lúthien’ which he wove into the story of Middle-earth, before the events of The Lord of the Rings.
Apart from a two-month spell, Tolkien was in the East Riding of Yorkshire from April 1917 until October 1918, spending time at Kilnsea and Easington, where he learned about the villages, which were lost to the sea due to coastal erosion.
Discover more about Visit East Yorkshire’s ‘Tolkien Triangle’ at https://bit.ly/389Wdea.
The author also spent time in Staffordshire, where in 1917 he created his first mythological stories, partly inspired by his time there. He spent an important period of his early life in the county, when he was posted to the Army training camps on Cannock Chase.
The Great War years were a formative period in the development of Tolkien’s work on the mythology, languages, history and geography of what would become Middle-earth and references in some of his writings relate to Staffordshire – Great Haywood, Shugborough Hall, Gipsy Green near Penkridge and Cannock Chase itself.
From the spring of 1916 Tolkien stayed in Great Haywood with his wife, Edith. Great Haywood, with its confluence of the Rivers Sow and Trent at Essex Bridge, became Tavrobel where the Rivers Gruir and Afros of Middle-earth met, near The House of a Hundred Chimneys. That house is believed to be based on Shugborough Hall = now a National Trust property – while the little Essex Bridge in the grounds became The Grey Bridge of Tavrobel in a ballad written during his stay.
The Staffordshire Tolkien Trail is a series of three linked walks that cover over 30 miles of countryside on and around Cannock Chase. The walks focus on Staffordshire’s J.R.R. Tolkien connection, but also offer lots of other local history interest as well as some spectacular views (https://bit.ly/35MLJPg).
For general tourist information about East Yorkshire, see www.visiteastyorkshire.co.uk
For general tourist information about Staffordshire visit www.enjoystaffordshire.com