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Did gold ring inspire Tolkien's Lord of the Rings?

23 September 2013 Last updated at 11:33 BST

Mark Horton discovers that J.R.R. Tolkien's inspiration for his famous ring may be rooted in an ancient curse found in Gloucestershire.

Lydney Park is an archaeological site which J.R.R. Tolkien visited as a University of Oxford academic before he wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

One of the finds from the Roman temple was a small rolled-up lead tablet, demanding a curse be placed upon the wearer of a precious ring.

Professor Miranda Aldhouse-Green from Cardiff University says this story might have inspired Tolkien's famous books about Middle-earth.

Dr Lynn Forest-Hill from the Tolkien Society also believes the author interwove the story of the golden ring into his books.

Inside Out West is broadcast on Monday, 23 September on BBC One at 19:30 BST and nationwide for seven days thereafter on the iPlayer.

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