Hobbit history unearthed on Tyneside

It has been revealed that Tyneside holds a special Tolkien secret.

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien had strong links to Newcastle, and a dedicated team renovating graves in Jesmond Old Cemetery uncovered the grave of his aunt Grace Tolkien - whom Tolkien is believed to have visited frequently.

The author is also said to have based the character of Saruman on Grace's husband and Tolkien's uncle, William Charles Mountain, who was the vice-president of the North East Institute of Mining.

"It was over two years ago when we pulled back the brambles and found the grave of JRR Tolkien's aunt's grave.

It was an uncovered gem that we discovered, we found it by pure accident.

But how thrilled we were when we found it. It would be nice for people who see the new film or read the books to come and see a little piece of Tolkien's history linked to Newcastle."

– Ray Hayes, Friends of Jesmond Old Cemetery

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Hobbit history found in Newcastle

On the day that new film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released, something unexpected has been unearthed on Tyneside - our very own piece of Hobbit history. The aunt of author JRR Tolkien was buried in Jesmond in Newcastle.