Hobbits along the Glen…

There is perhaps something rather ‘hobbity’ about the magical Glen Goyle:

copyright Ed Dolphin

Was Tolkien inspired by a gentle wander down the Glen?

Helping to restore a magical Victorian glen – Friends of Glen Goyle

With a little more hyperbole from today’s Devon Live:

Although you may know that Tolkien had connections with Oxford, you may be less familiar with his affection for the Jurassic Coast. According to his biographers, Tolkien essentially turned Sidmouth into the Shire.

Lord of the Rings: J.R.R. Tolkien turned Sidmouth into Middle Earth for hit Fantasy series – Devon Live

Tolkien did indeed come to the Sid Valley in 1938 – staying just round the corner from the Glen:

Aurora was built as part of Fort House (Kennaway House) in 1805, but became a separate residence in 1906. JRR Tolkien used it as a summer holiday home, and wrote part of Lord of the Rings there!

Blue Plaque for Kennaway House!

That summer, the family went for a holiday at Sidmouth, and there Tolkien found a good deal of time to write in peace and quiet. He brought the hobbits to Bree, where they met an odd character – who was also a completely unpremeditated element in the narrative. In the first draft, that person was a queer-looking, brown-faced hobbit called Trotter. Soon after that, Tolkien named the story “The Lord of the Rings”

Council of Elrond » LotR News & Information » The Lord of the Rings

According to Tolkien’s biographers, he was struggling a little with writer’s block during the writing on the first book in the trilogy, the Fellowship of the Ring, but while on a family holiday with his children, managed to find time to sit down and write, working many of the things he saw into his stories. It is thought that a visit to a local pub where he saw someone smoking in the corner helped inspire the introduction to the character Aragon and that the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast helped him visualise some of the terrain that Frodo and his band of travellers had to traverse on their mission.

From Sidmouth to the Shire – Visit Sidmouth

JRR Tolkien turned Sidmouth into the Shire and one of his loyal followers is on a quest to share the role the town played in inspiring one of fantasy’s greatest works… [Vicki Campbell] found that one of the pubs helped the Oxford University professor through a bout of writer’s block to develop a major character. “I like to think he was sitting in the corner of The Ship or The Swan smoking his pipe, and in a flash of inspiration, Aragorn was born,” she said.

‘Ringer’ shares Tolkien’s time in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald