Sarehole (grid reference SP099818) is an area in Hall Green, Birmingham, England (formerly in Worcestershire, but transferred to the city in 1911). Sarehole, a name no longer used in addresses, was a hamlet which gave its name to a farm (now built over) and a mill. It extended from the ford at Green Lane, southwards for about a mile, along the River Cole to the Dingles. Birmingham City Council have named the segment of the path along the Cole southwards from Sarehole Mill the John Morris Jones Walkway after a local historian.
J. R. R. Tolkien lived there as a child in the 1890s, and the area influenced his description of the green and peaceful country of the Shire in his books. The nearby Moseley Bog (now a nature reserve) was probably the inspiration for the Old Forest - and the hill on which Spring Hill College stands, which even today, according to local legend, is criss-crossed with secret tunnels, could easily have become Tolkien's Bag End.
Sarehole Mill, which also influenced the young Tolkien, is a water-driven mill, now a museum, within the Shire Country Park. During the 18th century the mill was leased by Matthew Boulton, one of the pioneers of the Industrial Revolution and leading figure of the Lunar Society, for scientific experimentation.
- Hall Green and Hereabout, John Morris JONES, ed. Michael Byrne 1989, (Birmingham Libraries Catalogue)
- Here and Then - The past of Our District, John Morris JONES, (Birmingham Libraries Catalogue)
- Sarehole Mill
- Sarehole and the Shire Park
- Shire Country Park
- Tolkien's Birmingham
- Tolkien's Birmingham - Sarehole Mill pictures
- Tolkien's Birmingham - Tolkien Trail including the Moseley Bog
- John Morris Jones Walkway
- The Guardian 1991 article on Sarehole titled Tolkien's shire
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