In this post I will be focusing on “Pier At Lytham St Annes” by Pete Farrington.
On the coast of Lancashire is the lesser known seaside town of the Victorian era, Lytham St Annes. It has several landmarks with its beautiful Victorian pier taking centre stage. Lancashire emerged as a major commercial and industrial region during the Industrial Revolution with Manchester and Liverpool growing to become its largest cities.
Tolkien spent lots of time in Lancashire, in particular in Ribble Valley, Clitheroe and Preston. During his time as Stonyhurst College it is said he began working on an Epic High Fantasy about hobbits, elves and the quest for a ring called The Lord of the Rings. Tours are held for readers of this monumental trilogy as Tolkien was very much inspired by the beautiful landscape around him. Ribble Valley was very much the inspiration for the world of Middle Earth and readers can find many names from the book such as Shire Lane. The description of Tom Bombadil’s house towards the misty mountain mirrors the view Tolkien would have had when he looked out of his lodge window at Stonyhurst College.
Arthur Conan Doyle also spent time at Stonyhurst College in 1868, coincidently, also in Ribble Valley. It’s believed that the building inspired some of the descriptions in his Sherlock Holmes novels. References can be found in Hound of the Baskervilles as the description of the drive up the avenue to Baskerville house is very similar to Stonyhurst College.