Sunday, March 20, 2016

Birmingham's Folly (Perriot's Tower)

So, thanks to Brad Eden for the forwarded link, and Nancy Martsch for the recent article in BEYOND BREE (Feb. issue, p. 5), both about Perrott's Folly. An interesting building in its own right, this is a brick tower in the Edgbaston part of Birmingham, near where Tolkien grew up. In recent years this has been claimed to be the inspiration for one of JRRT's 'Two Towers' from the book of the same name. The only problem is that there's no evidence whatsoever that this is the case. It's testimony to Tolkien's popularity that folks try to attach things to his name, whether it's a golden ring (the so-called 'Ring of Silvianus') or an old tower.

I must confess that when I heard the local authorities were holding meetings to decide what to be done with the tower, I had fantasies of Tolk. folk. running a Kickstarter to rent the tower for a set period (a week, a month, whatever), and hang from it a great big banner that read

This Neat Old Tower
Has Nothing Whatsoever
 To Do With J. R. R. Tolkien

--Ah well. A scholar can dream, can't he?

Here's the link: the link-within-the-link shows some interesting detail about the tower's interior -- though my acrophobia's bad enough that I know I cdn't ever climb the interior stair and these pictures are the closest I'll ever come to see it.$sitewide%20p$4

--John R.

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