Perrott's Folly re-opens to the public
By Sarah Loat
The enchanting tower that inspired Tolkien's 'Two Towers' in Lord of the Rings is open for an extended period for the first time in over 20 years.
Birmingham's historic landmark tower Perrott's Folly, celebrating it's 250th anniversary, will be open to the public for an extended period the first time
Secrets of the tower
The tower was built by eccentric landowner John Perrott in 1758. Though the reason for its construction is unknown, historical accounts suggest that in keeping with the fashion of the day, it was built as an elaborate hunting lodge for the entertainment of Perrott’s wealthy friends. It later went onto be used as a weather observatory.
Legend has it that he built the tower to gaze at his wife's grave more than 10 miles away. Other tales say that he believed his wife was having an affair with the gamekeeper so built the folly to spy on her.
Follow in the footsteps of Tolkien
JRR Tolkien grew up in Birmingham and passed by Perrott's Folly and the neighbouring Edgbaston Waterworks tower on his way to school.
Tolkien drew inspiration for his novels from local Birmingham landmarks. Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog appear as The Shire of Middle Earth, the Folly is shown as a dark representation of evil in the Two Towers.
The folly has only been open sporadically, but visitors will now be able get a flavour of Tolkien's Middle Earth, by climbing the tower's 139 steps to experience panoramic views of Birmingham.
The highest room in Perrott's Folly
Birmingham's Ikon Gallery is also hosting a unique installation of paintings and sculpture in the tower by internationally acclaimed German artist, Jürgen Partenheimer, from 2 April to 14 April 2008.
Talking about exhibiting in Perrott's Folly, Jürgen said: "It's an excellent example of English folly architecture but also with the history of Tolkien it becomes really special."
Admission to the exhibition is free and is expected to draw people from around the UK keen to experience this unique building and those wanting to get a taste of Tolkien's inspirations in Birmingham.
Folly opening times:
2 April – 25 May 2008
Thursday – Sunday, 1-5pm.
Admission is Free
Call the Ikon Gallery for more information on: 0121 248 0708
last updated: 09/04/2008 at 17:41
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