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“Cottage of Lost Play” up for sale
Rock Cottage and its three fireplaces is thought to have inspired the Cottage of Lost Play. Photo credit: Michael Flowers

Rock Cottage – thought to be a possible inspiration for the Cottage of Lost Play – in the Staffordshire village of Great Haywood has gone on sale for an asking price of £375,000.

There is no irrefutable proof that Tolkien and his wife Edith lived at the property, but local historian and Tolkien Society member David Robbie has suggested that circumstantial and literary evidence points in that direction.

Tolkien is known to have resided in Great Haywood from early December 1916 until 23 February 1917 (100 years ago tomorrow), following his traumatic experiences at the Battle of the Somme and contraction of trench fever.

It was around this time that Tolkien wrote “The Cottage of Lost Play”, which – like Rock Cottage – had three fireplaces and was adjacent to a line of Yew trees.

An exhibition commemorating Tolkien’s time in Staffordshire during the First World War – now at Stafford Library – will close on Monday 27 February.

About the Author: Daniel Helen
Daniel is an Officer without Portfolio and Trustee of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2014, he is mainly responsible for the Society's digital operations, including this website.