There are many places, stories and events which are said to have been influences on J R R Tolkien in his tales of Middle-earth. One which has long intrigued the Professor’s fans is Perrott’s Folly in the West Midlands, England. This extraordinary tower is located in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham, near where Tolkien lived as a boy. It is a 96 foot tall structure, built by John Perrott in 1758 for some reason which is unknown today – possibly it was simply a status symbol, though the more romantic belief is that he wanted a building from which he could see his wife’s grave 15 miles away (even though she was still alive when first Perrott built the tower; the sceptics say he was in fact using it to spy on her infidelities…)
You can read more about Perrott’s Folly and its supposed influence on Tolkien here. Normally this strange building is not open to the public; visitors on the Tolkien Trail in Birmingham are turned away, disappointed. However, next Saturday, 26th October, the Folly will be open for a ‘Drawing Event’, organized by Trident Reach the People Charity, which manages the building. The occasion will be a family friendly, experimental art event, where mirrors, odd objects and noise will be used to imagine how Perrott’s Folly might look, sound and function in the future.
The day will run from 11am to 5pm, and is free and open to all. You can read more about it here. If you’re in the area, don’t miss this great opportunity to see inside a landmark which would have been very familiar to J R R Tolkien, and which just might have been a seed for one of his ‘Two Towers’.