Historic East Yorkshire: The Tolkien Triangle

The author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings took much inspiration from the East Riding during his time here…….

Tolkien plaque For Eighteen months in 1917 and 1918, author of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and many other fantasy and children’s books, J.R.R. Tolkien lived at Brooklands Military Hospital on Cottingham Road in Hull. He had seen his battalion, which was fighting in the first world war, disbanded because of the huge number of casualties it suffered and was sent to East Yorkshire to recuperate from trench fever.

It’s now generally accepted that the landscape and coastline of East Yorkshire informed Tolkien’s later writing. It has been dubbed ‘The Tolkien Triangle’. He spent time at Kilnsea and Easington and learned about the villages which were lost to the sea due to coastal erosion. It’s also believed that a wood near Roos, which he visited with his wife, was the inspiration for the one he created near the fictional Hobbiton.

Tolkien even directly copied some East Yorkshire place names into his work, with the village of Wetwang, for example, appearing in the Fellowship of the Ring.

To commemorate the time Tolkein spent in East Yorkshire, a plaque was mounted on the former Brooklands Hospital , which is now called the Dennison Centre and is part of the University of Hull’s campus.

Dave Lee


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