Lord of the Rings series to be switched to UK - could there be filming in central Lancashire and Fylde coast?

With production of the new Lord of the Rings TV series to be switched to the UK from New Zealand, there are some sites in Lancashire which would be perfect for filming.

By Richard Hunt
Saturday, 14th August 2021, 2:33 pm
Updated Saturday, 14th August 2021, 3:48 pm
Stoneyhurst College, near Clitheroe
Stoneyhurst College, near Clitheroe

Amazon Studios, the global firm's film and TV arm, says the move is part of its plans to expand operations in the UK.

Although the first series of the show has yet to finish filming in New Zealand and will be screened on Amazon Prime in September 2022, four more are expected and will be filmed in the UK.

Locations have yet to be scouted out but producers may be interested in taking a look at an area of rural Lancashire on which author JRR Tolkien is said to have modelled part of his fictional Middle Earth.

Clitheroe Castle

Tolkien wrote part of The Lord of the Rings in a classroom on the Upper Gallery of Stonyhurst College near Clitheroe, where his son taught Classics.

He was said to be struck by the local surroundings of the Ribble Valley and it is believed the area inspired some of his depictions of Middle Earth.

Tolkien even named one of his fictional rivers the Shirebourn, which is notably similar to the Shireburns who built Stonyhurst.

The nearby Forest of Bowland remains unspoilt and it is not hard to imagine how its deep valleys, gritstone fells and royal forest areas could help shape a new TV version of Tolkien's world.

A dramatic view of the Forest of Bowland. Picture: Steve Pendrill

There are even the ruins of early medieval Clitheroe Castle to draw upon, with its dramatic stone walls and turrets.

The new series, yet to be given an official name, is set thousands of years before the action which takes place in Tolkien's most famous books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Should any filming taking place in Lancashire, it would be likely to provide a boost to local tourism.

After New Zealand hosted Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning film versions between 2001 and 2006, the country experienced an incredible 40 per cent rose in tourism.

Filming of the Disney+ Star Wars series in Cleveleys

Lancashire is no stranger to filming these days.

Earlier this year Cleveleys beach was the surprise location for a shoot for the new Disney+ show, Star Wars: Andor, due to launch in 2022.

Could the Fylde coast's beaches even be used again for the Tolkien show?

Watch this space.