In CoastTolkien

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are surely among the most famous works of fiction in English Literature, yet few people realise J R R Tolkien spent about eighteen months in East Yorkshire during World War 1.

2017 marked the centenary of J R R Tolkien arriving in East Yorkshire to convalesce after contracting trench fever at the Western Front.

Apart from two months at Brocton camp, Tolkien was in the East Riding of Yorkshire from April 1917 until October 1918.

Tolkien spent time at Kilnsea and Easington and learned about the villages which were lost to the sea due to coastal erosion.

In 1917, his wife, Edith, danced for him in a wood at Roos while he was stationed at a nearby camp. He acknowledged that this event inspired the tale of Beren and Lúthien which he wove into the story of Middle-earth soon after.

During his stays in Hull and East Yorkshire, Tolkien wrote a number of poems and stories and he also created two mythological languages!

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.

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’.

When Tolkien was sent to Brooklands Military Hospital, Hull, (now the Dennison Building at the University of Hull), he met the Commandant, Margaret Strickland-Constable of Wassand Hall, Hornsea.