I think Tolkien already commented on this:
"An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience, but
the ways in which a story-germ uses the soil of experience are extremely
complex, and attempts to define the process are at best guesses from
evidence that is inadequate and ambiguous."
Tolkien acknowledged that the Midlands country villages of his childhood are
the basis for his depiction of the Shire, but to say that the Shire _is_
Sarehole is a much bigger jump that insults the author's intent and his
imagination. The towers are the desperate folly of a Birmingham booster.
The logic seems to be, "Tolkien once saw a tower, there's a tower in The
Lord of the Rings, therefore they must be the same tower." Look at his
sketches of Orthanc; they're nothing alike. Besides, the title "The Two
Towers" wasn't invented until he needed to cobble together volume titles
after his publisher decided to publish the book in three. Etc etc.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 2:01 AM
Subject: [mythsoc] Tolkien and some places near Birmingham
> This article claims that many of the locations in The Lord of the Rings
> were inspired by various places near Birmingham:
> Anybody want to comment on this?
> Wendell Wagner