25 Jun 2015

A new chapter:
Tolkien Society and Sarehole Mill

The Tolkien Society and Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) are delighted to announce that they will be working together to promote and enhance Sarehole Mill. J.R.R. Tolkien spent several happy childhood years within sight of the Mill, which became the inspiration for the mill at Hobbiton in his classic work ‘The Hobbit’. In 1960, Tolkien personally contributed to the public appeal which enabled the Mill to be saved and it was restored in 1969.

Shaun Gunner, Chairman of the Tolkien Society said:

“I am really excited about this partnership with Sarehole Mill, which inspired Tolkien’s vision of the Shire. The Tolkien Society exists to promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien: Sarehole Mill – and the surrounding area form the foundations of Tolkien’s Middle-earth which make this a deeply special place. It is a place that deserves to be much more widely known and loved, this partnership will ensure this happens.”

Robert Hayes, Commercial Director at Birmingham Museums Trust said:

“Birmingham has always been a city which has inspired creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit. BMT is delighted to be in partnership with the Tolkien Society to ensure the Mill continues to encourage growth in local and national visitors. It is a truly exceptional place”.

Tolkien Weekend

This Autumn Sarehole Mill presents a Tolkien weekend on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September, 11-4pm. This free, family friendly event includes Middle Earth crafts and story telling:

The Tolkien Society and Birmingham Museums Trust are planning future events for 2016. 

General info about Sarehole Mill

Between 28 March – 1 November 2015, Sarehole Mill is open Wednesday to Sunday 12-4pm, with milling taking place on Wednesdays and Sundays.

During term time weekdays please call 0121 348 8263 to book a guided tour, Adults £7.

Weekends, Bank holidays and school holidays, Adults £6/Concessions £5/children under 16 free (no-booking required).

Media Contact


  1. Birmingham Museums Trust is an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. It uses the collection of around 800,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city. Most areas of the collection are designated as being of national importance, including the finest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world. Attracting over 1 million visits a year, the Trust’s venues include Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle.
  2. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
  3. The Tolkien Society is an educational charity, literary society, and international fan club, devoted to promoting the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Registered in England (charity no. 273809), the Society was founded in 1969 and received the blessing of Tolkien himself when he agreed to become the Society’s president; he remains the Society’s president to this day whilst his daughter, Priscilla, serves as our Vice-President. Although based in the U. K., the Society has over a thousand members in dozens of countries around the world who hold local events in their areas and who all receive the Society’s journals Amon Hen and Mallorn. What binds all members together is a shared passion for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.  Our promotional video on YouTube gives flavour of the Society. Contact: web site contact form  or email