Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire
7 March 2016 – 21 April 2018
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An exhibition commemorating Tolkien’s time in Staffordshire during the First World War launched at the Museum of Cannock Chase on 7 March 2016. It will tour the county until April 2018 – see below for the tour dates.



tolkien_1916The exhibition focuses on the time Tolkien spent in Staffordshire during the First World War. Visitors will be able to explore the writings, poetry, and artwork Tolkien wrote in the county, as well as learn more about life for soldiers in Staffordshire during the Great War.

During the Great War Second Lieutenant J.R.R. Tolkien of the Lancashire Fusiliers was stationed in the county, first at Whittington Heath, near Lichfield, next at a musketry camp at Newcastle-under-Lyme, then at Rugeley and Brocton Camps on Cannock Chase. After his marriage in March 1916, Tolkien’s wife came to live in Great Haywood so that she could be close to him. Tolkien regularly visited Edith in the village until he was posted to France in June 1916.

Tolkien returned to Great Haywood in early December 1916 to recover from his traumatic experiences at the Somme. He lived with Edith in a cottage there until late February 1917 and during this time created his first mythological stories, in part inspired by Staffordshire landscapes and experiences.

After a brief posting to East Yorkshire, Tolkien returned to Staffordshire in 1918 and lived in a cottage at Gipsy Green, Teddesley Park, near Penkridge, where other important work was undertaken.

Copies of original artwork, of domestic scenes and landscapes drawn by Tolkien in 1918 in Staffordshire, will be on display as will photographs specially loaned by the Tolkien Estate and Bodleian Library.

The exhibition has been organised by the Haywood Society, supported by the Staffordshire Libraries and Arts Service and the Museum of Cannock Chase, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Tour Dates

Updated: February 2017

Location Start Date End Date
Burntwood Library Wednesday 1 March 2017 Friday 8 April
Perton Library Tuesday 11 April Sunday 21 May
Brewood Library Tuesday 23 May Thursday 22 June
Brampton Museum Saturday 24 June Saturday 22 July
Burton Library Tuesday 25 July Saturday 16 September
Tamworth Library Tuesday 19 September Saturday 11 November
Leek Library Tuesday 14 November Saturday 6 January 2018
Marquis Drive Visitor Centre Tuesday 9 January 2018 Saturday 3 March
Chasewater Country Park Tuesday 6 March Saturday 21 April

Call for Volunteers

The Haywood Society is calling for volunteers to assist with the tour. To find out more and to volunteer, contact David Robbie on 01889 881794 or at daverobbie38 [at] btinternet [dot] com