Thursday, 4 August 2011

Dormston and Bag End

Dormston is a small hamlet 15 miles West of Stratford-upon-Avon.

This view shows the approach to Dormston from Stratford. The narrow lane only permits single a file of traffic.

Dormston is the location of the original Bag End. J R R Tolkien stayed here in 1923, and it became the inspiration for Bag End in The Hobbit.

This is a view overlooking Dormston from the the East.
The building at the far right of the picture is St Nicholas' Church (more pictures below).

The farm at the left is Bag End Farm (more pictures below).

There are several half-timbered buildings in Dormston.

The area of the ditch and the grass verge in front of this timber-framed old cottage is covered with irises (flags) and other wild flowers.

This is a moated farmhouse, Moat Farm.

The farmhouse is surrounded by a moat of deep water. The moat is in the wide ditch running across the foreground of the picture.

This is St Nicholas' Church, Dormston.  

The half-timbered church tower and wooden porchway.

The woodwork of the porchway is old and heavily weathered and very attractive.

A close-up of the heavily weathered woodwork of the porchway.

Tolkien would have appreciated weathered woodwork like this, and the door shown just below.

Inside the porchway, beneath heavy wooden beams, is this wooden door.

One might imagine Tolkien's figure Gandalf tapping on a door like this with his staff, commanding it to open.

In the 1920's Bag End Farm, was owned by a woman named Jane Neave. Her nephew, J R R Tokien, stayed at the farm for a period in 1923, while he was recovering from pheumonia.

Some 8 years later, Bag End and the Baggins's, and possibly some other impressions of Dormston, reappeared in Tolkien's story The Hobbit.

J R R Tolkien loved trees. A few hundred yards from Bag End Farm is this magnificent old oak.

This oak is one of the largest I've seen in the area. It's probably around 300 years old, maybe much more.

This tree would certainly have been one of Tolkien's favourite trees, perhaps his favourite.

This is another view of the same ancient oak, showing Bag End Farm in the background. 

Bag End Farm comprises a 17th century house, and a number of farm outbuildings. It is not possible to obtain a clear view of the house from the road. The house seems to be similar in size to Moat Farm (pictured near the top of the page), though Bag End is entirely brick and timber.

This is the entrance to the house from the main road (by "main road" I mean the narrow lane you can see in the picture at the top of this page). The entrance appears to be overgrown and disused. Many of the farm outbuildings also appear to be in a state of disrepair.
This is the view, looking to the West, from the top of the hill behind Bag End.
On the horizon towards the right you can see a range of hills and beyond them are mountains. These are the Malverns, and the Black Mountains.

Standing in this green meadow, you are drawn to wonder what lies in, and beyond, those distant hills and mountains.

This picture shows exactly the same view of meadows and distant mountains as the picture above, but is taken from a few yards further back, to show a footpath sign and a gate.

This footpath can take you, via other paths, all the way from Bag End in The Shire to the Black Mountains.