Like most people, our Oxford free tour guide is really looking forward to the Tolkien movie. It has been almost two years since Lisa met Nicholas Hoult on set during filming and the movie will launch on 10 May 2019. We can’t wait to see all the Oxford sites on the big screen.
Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien or J.R.R. Tolkien as we better know him is synonymous with Oxford. This is for very good reason having lived in Oxford, studied in Oxford, worked in Oxford, lectured in Oxford, been a Professor at Oxford University and most famously of all written The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy in Oxford.
Our tours will take you to Tolkien Sites that can only be reached on foot and along the way we will point out other sites including Harry Potter and Inspector Morse filming locations. We will show you locations that inspired Middle Earth, such as All Soul’s College, which is strongly rumoured to have been the inspiration for The Two Towers.
Tolkien was always quick to correct any mispronunciation of his surname, which should be pronounced Toll-Keen.
Tolkien resided in many addresses of Oxford including moving between two adjacent properties in Northmoor Road, where he wrote The Hobbit. Our tour won’t go out to Headington but it may be worth heading out there afterwards, Tolkien lived in Headington and is also where Sir Roger Bannister lived and broke the four minute mile.
Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford, Pembroke College and was known to frequent many pubs in Oxford. He was a member of The Inklings a literary society (although I suspect a drinking and literary society). The Inklings, included many other great authors including C.S. Lewis and Adam Fox. The Eagle and Child, also known as the Bird and Baby sits on St Giles, a short hop from Oxford City centre. If you do make the short walk out to the Eagle and Child, make sure you go to the back of the pub to have a drink where JRR Tolkien, Colin Dexter and C.S. Lewis all enjoyed a pint and read the memorabilia they have displayed on the wall. Unfortunately, the pub was modernised and opened up in 1962 which led to the moving of The Inklings drinking to the St John’s College owned Lamb and Flag directly across the road. But this is a good excuse to have at least two drinks during your visit.
Not all those who wander are lost – J.R.R. Tolkien
The anticipated Tolkien Movie will include much about his involvement in the First World. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers and survived the Battle of the Somme. As such Oxford was dressed as a backdrop for much of the lead up to Tolkien’s departure for the war and the movie will depict the stress that this put on his wife Edith.
The most improper job of any man … is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.
Tolkien worked for the Oxford English Dictionary, which at the time was the New English Dictionary, Professor of Anglo-Saxon Pembroke College. Professor of English Literature at Merton College, studied at Exeter College (the college where Inspector Morse had his heart attack in the quad), drank in the Oxford pubs and walked the streets that our tours will take you along. The Bodleian library houses many Tolkien artefacts and his original manuscripts. Join our tour to find out about how Tolkien enjoyed college life as a student and about his life and work in Oxford. Our tours are free and packed full of fun facts and anecdotes so we look forward to seeing you soon.