Tolkien Works Brought to Life
Tolkien was a Professor of Old English/Anglo-Saxon and Middle English language and literature, and this literature, particularly Beowulf, influenced his own writings. He also based the people of Rohan, the Rohirrim, on the historical Anglo-Saxons, giving them Anglo-Saxon names, customs, and poetry.
Another major influence on Tolkien is riddle poetry from Anglo-Saxon England. Some of the oldest surviving Old English manuscripts contain riddle poems, such as the Leiden Riddle the which is demonstrated during the contest between Bilbo and Gollum in The Lord of the Rings.
During the early Anglo Saxon period, West Stow was the site of a small village made up of timber buildings. Archaeological excavation of the site unearthed evidence for a variety of different structures including 69 sunken-featured buildings; inspiring the 'Hobbit House', home to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
Now, thanks to Arnor Heritage Projects, Tolkien's works are being brought to life at West Stow, with a range of 'Middle Earth Adventures.' Run by Alan Baxter, a Heritage Consultant specialising in archery and The Lord of the Rings, there are 4 experiences on offer:
The Real Middle Earth Tours
The Real Middle-earth tour
A 2 hour guided tour of the Anglo-Saxon Village by a member of the Tolkien society and Middle-earth enthusiast explaining the many links between Tolkien and the Anglo-Saxons. The tour includes a Riddle Battle and a visit to the set of the ‘Born of Hope’ fan film.
Born of Hope is an award winning fan film and independent Lord of the Rings prequel which has been seen online by millions of people worldwide and was filmed at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village. It shows how Aragorn was born in a village just like West Stow!
Ranger of the North Archery experience
Try your hand at archery with a longbow like the Rangers of Ithilien and be guided by a qualified archery instructor and Middle Earth enthusiast.
Pod Hollow visit
Book a visit to the the Tolkien inspired Pod Hollow at West Stow Pods and enjoy a visit from a member of the Tolkien society and Middle-earth enthusiast. Your visit can include a quiz, 'Talking Tolkien' or 'Tolkien and the Anglo-Saxons' talks, a viewing of the 'Born of Hope' film, riddle battle and photo opportunities with lifesize cut outs.
The Middle-earth Adventure
Halbarad the Ranger, a costumed character from The Lord of the Rings will be your guide on this tour of the Anglo-Saxon Village. Your guide will explain the many links between Tolkien and the Anglo-Saxons. The tour also includes a riddle battle, ranger archery, a visit to the set of ‘Born of Hope', and movie replica handling activities.
Stay in a Hobbit-Inspired Hobbit Hole!
For die hard enthusiasts, why not book a stay in the Pod Hollow at West Stow Pods!
This a halfling-inspired subterranean dwelling draws it's inspiration from the Hobbit House, which was itself inspired by the sunken featured buildings at West Stow Anglo Saxon Village. Built into a grassy knoll, the Pod Hollow has two double bedrooms, a sitting room, and kitchen - the perfect accommodation for budding hairy-footed, halfling guests!
“I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink…
Head to the Stoves Cookery Theatre to see the best of…
Family Events Not to be…
From outdoor theatre and cinema, to festivals, fairs…
New cycle hire offer at…
A new cycle hire offer at Ickworth allows visitors to…
Father's Day Gift Guide
This Father's Day, treat your Dad to a unique gift or…
Fun-Filled Family Days Out
If you're looking for a day out that the whole family…
Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival - Full Line Up Announced!
Head to the Stoves Cookery Theatre to see the best of Bury St Edmunds showcasing their culinary skills!
East Anglian Wine of the Year Competition 2022 to be Held at Giffords Hall Vineyard
A public open table tasting will follow the annual regional competition for wines from the East
Abbey 1000 Celebrations Continue as New Sculpture of St Edmund is Unveiled
West Suffolk College students have created a large sculpture of the head of St Edmund as part of an ongoing celebration Abbey 1000 celebrations.
Ghosts of the Abbey
It has been 1000 years since the founding of the Abbey of St Edmund and unsurprisingly there have been a number of ghost stories over that time. We take a look at a few of them ...
Parks Receive Green Flag Awards
West Suffolk Councils is awarded six Green Flags for its parks and open spaces including the award-winning Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds
New Interpretation Unveiled At Bury St Edmunds Abbey Marks 1,000 Years
New interpretation imagines the Abbey as it might have appeared over the last millennium
50 Things To Do This Summer in Bury St Edmunds
Here's our pick of 50 things to do this summer in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond!
4 weeks of Christmas in Bury St Edmunds!
Christmas is lasting longer in Bury St Edmunds than ever before!
Family Events Not to be Missed This Summer!
From outdoor theatre and cinema, to festivals, fairs and exhibitions, plan a summer of fun in Bury St Edmunds & Beyond!