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Perrott's Folly, a possible inspiration for Orthanc, to open to the public October 26th

News from Bree

Oct 19 2013, 4:31pm

Post #1 of 6 (224 views)
Perrott's Folly, a possible inspiration for Orthanc, to open to the public October 26th Can't Post

perrott's follyThere 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 owns 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'.

[Click here to find out more about Trident Reach the People's Folly Project.]

Tol Eressea

Oct 20 2013, 11:17am

Post #2 of 6 (156 views)
That's a nicely balanced post, and I know you're not saying it did inspire Tolkien - - [In reply to] Can't Post

- but honestly; there's no evidence that this tower, nor the chimney at Edgebaston Waterworks, 'inspired' Tolkien in any way; and I find it mildly irritating that uninformed folk make that assertion (including some in the Tolkien Society, who ought to know better! Tongue )

This is one example of someone looking at something; seeing a 'Tolkien connection' in their mind, and putting two and two together. The article in the Guardian pretty much follows this line - something about 'true believers' of Tolkien, or some such rubbish. JRR wrote a book; it's called 'The Lord of the Rings'. he didn't write a book called 'The Two Towers'. His publishers had the idea that the book should be divided into three parts, and that was the title chosen for volume two; no more, no less. Anyone who knows anything about Tolkien's life-story knows that. sheesh!

(This post was edited by geordie on Oct 20 2013, 11:19am)


Oct 20 2013, 3:06pm

Post #3 of 6 (162 views)
A more ominious view [In reply to] Can't Post

Attachments: perrotts-folly negative.jpg (19.2 KB)

Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Oct 22 2013, 11:00pm

Post #4 of 6 (119 views)
Seems a bit small for Orthanc as well [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't Orthanc supposed to be a mile tall? Actually I have said it before, but I do think that the Shroud in London looks eerily similar to Orthanc!


Oct 23 2013, 4:08am

Post #5 of 6 (115 views)
Orthanc is 500 feet tall. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's the Ring of Isengard that's a mile in diameter.

A dimension of a mile sticks in the mind, doesn't it?

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Oct 23 2013, 11:20pm

Post #6 of 6 (146 views)
I thought I did read somewhere that Orthanc was a mile tall. [In reply to] Can't Post

But perhaps that was unofficial. And all right so I was a little out. That's still quite tall, though!


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