JRR Tolkien in Lancashire
The Lord of the Rings took 16 years to compile and was published in 1954/55. J.R.R. Tolkien & his family regularly stayed at Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley, a short distance from the present festival site. Their son John was evacuated to the Jesuit seminary at St. Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst during WWII. JRR spent much of his time at the College writing.
He loved nature and wooded landscapes and the Ribble Valley is richly beautiful. Names which occur in The Lord of the Rings are similar to those found locally, including Shire Lane, in Hurst Green and the River Shirebourn (similar to the name of the family which built Stonyhurst). The ferry at Hacking Hall was still working in Tolkien’s time & may have been the inspiration for the Buckleberry Ferry? The view from
Tom Bombadil's house might have been based on the view from New Lodge at Stonyhurst.
The Ordnance Survey says
The centre of Great Britain is 4 km north west of Whalley, near Clitheroe, Lancashire.’ …Truly Middle Earth.
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