History

Discover Tolkien’s local inspirations with guided Staffordshire walks

World famous author JRR Tolkien, who gave us works such as The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, will be celebrated locally with guided walks around the Staffordshire areas he spent time in in the early part of his life.

During the Great War, Tolkien was posted to the Army training camps on Cannock Chase, first at Rugeley and then at Brocton, and Staffordshire County Council is proud to have its linked walks that range across 30 miles of Staffordshire countryside exploring the county’s connections with one of this country’s best loved authors.

The Great War years are believed to have played an important part in the development of Tolkien’s work on the mythology, languages, history and landscape of what would become Middle Earth, the fictional universe in which his stories are based. References in some of his writings relate to some well-known local landmarks and some of the key locations visited in the Staffordshire Tolkien Trail are:

  • Great Haywood “Tavrobel”
  • Essex Bridge “The Grey Bridge of Tavrobel”
  • Gypsy (Gipsy) Green, Teddesley Hay “Fladweth Amrod”
  • Shugborough Hall “The House of a Hundred Chimneys”
  • Brocton Coppice
  • The Sherbrook Valley
  • Oldacre Valley and M-Lines Officer Huts
  • Chase Road Corner and P-Lines Officer Huts
  • Rifle Ranges
  • Marquis Drive Visitor Centre and Great War Hut
  • Commonwealth War Cemetery and German War Cemetery

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said: “The Tolkien Trail not only offers great Staffordshire views and a healthy way to get out and about, but also the chance to rediscover the landscape and buildings that helped to inspire the world’s greatest fantasy writer.

“It’s clear that Staffordshire had a profound effect on Tolkien’s early years, and we’re right to feel proud of those links.”

Two walks will be on offer; Great Haywood Tolkien Trail—Sunday 21st October—10 miles 0300 111 8000, and Cannock Chase Tolkien Trail—Thursday 8th November—12 miles—0300 111 8000. Walks can be booked by calling 0300 111 8000

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