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In 1896 [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] settled with his mother and brother at 5 Gracewell (now 264 Wake Green Road), a cottage in Sarehole village. It was only four miles from the centre of [[Birmingham]] but it was then still set within the north Worcestershire countryside. Coming from the hot dry landscape of South Africa, the green fields and woods made a vivid impression on Tolkien.
 
In 1896 [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] settled with his mother and brother at 5 Gracewell (now 264 Wake Green Road), a cottage in Sarehole village. It was only four miles from the centre of [[Birmingham]] but it was then still set within the north Worcestershire countryside. Coming from the hot dry landscape of South Africa, the green fields and woods made a vivid impression on Tolkien.
  
He said that Sarehole was the model for [[the Shire]], home of [[Bilbo Baggins]] in ''[[The Hobbit]]''. When Tolkien visited Birmingham with his family in 1933 he lamented the changes in Sarehole, as Birmingham had continued to grow until Sarehole was but a suburb in the huge city. In 1933, much of the area was still farmland, but there were many more houses and gardens, and one old farmhouse had become a garage selling petrol.
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He said that Sarehole was the model for the [[Shire]], home of [[Bilbo Baggins]] in ''[[The Hobbit]]''. When Tolkien visited Birmingham with his family in 1933 he lamented the changes in Sarehole, as Birmingham had continued to grow until Sarehole was but a suburb in the huge city. In 1933, much of the area was still farmland, but there were many more houses and gardens, and one old farmhouse had become a garage selling petrol.
 
   
 
   
 
The most exciting thing for a young boy to see in the village of Sarehole was certainly [[Sarehole Mill]], which Tolkien refers to as 'the great mill' in ''The Hobbit''. It stands on the River Cole. Tolkien based the bad-tempered [[Ted Sandyman]] (the miller) in ''The Lord of the Rings'' on the miller there, who perhaps understandably shouted at him and his younger brother when they were playing in the mill yard.
 
The most exciting thing for a young boy to see in the village of Sarehole was certainly [[Sarehole Mill]], which Tolkien refers to as 'the great mill' in ''The Hobbit''. It stands on the River Cole. Tolkien based the bad-tempered [[Ted Sandyman]] (the miller) in ''The Lord of the Rings'' on the miller there, who perhaps understandably shouted at him and his younger brother when they were playing in the mill yard.

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