Mills of Middle Earth
J R R Tolkien set his fantasy novels in an extensive detailed world that he
created - that of Middle Earth.
Sarehole Mill - Tolkien's childhood playground
The Shire which appears in Tolkien's books was based on the village where
his formative years were spent - Sarehole, on the outskirts of
Sarehole mill was a favourite haunt, and became the Great Mill at Hobbiton in
the books. As well as appearing in the stories themselves, it gets a good
mention in Tolkien's own foreword to the 1966 revised edition of the Lord of
the Rings trilogy.
The Great Mill at Hobbiton
In the film of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Great Mill at Hobbiton
is prominently seen at the end of the bridge over the Bywater.
The mill is included as one of the exhibits in the travelling exhibition
developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
This exhibition is on at
The Science Museum in London from Sept 2003 till January 2004.
Hobbition Mill: The section looks at the process, from conception through
to construction, of Hobbiton Mill. It took three months to build and was
seen in the first film The Fellowship of the Ring
Later on in the film, the ruined Shire is seen in "flashback", where the
mill appears burnt out.
The book version
In the books,
it is related that the mill stood on the north banks of the
Water in Hobbiton and was run by Ted Sandyman, but then bought and demolished
by Lotho Sackville-Baggins.
More detailed coverage
of the public buildings of The Shire
The New Mill at Hobbiton
A New Mill replaced the old mill - this one was bigger and uglier - a brick
built building, full of strange contraptions. It was used for industrial
purposes, rather than grinding corn as the earlier mill had.
It's described in
the third book - Return of the King.
Windmill in the Shire
In the films, the Shire has a windmill, seen turning in the background of
a number of long shots. I've not come across any photos of this on the
set - perhaps it was just one of the many computer generated effects in
Text and images © Mark Berry,