BLACK Country based artist Tim Tolkien has celebrated the unveiling of a lasting memorial for his late great uncle - who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The renowned metal sculptor, who lives in Cradley Heath, unveiled the memorial last week at Pembroke College, Oxford, where JRR Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth professor of Anglo-Saxon from 1925 to 1945.

The large four-feet high memorial, featuring a bronze relief plaque depicting the renowned fantasy author, echoes the book cover of The Hobbit and features a lot of JRR Tolkien's imagery.

Tim was originally asked to tender for the commission for the project back in 2012 but it didn’t get seriously underway until 2018. It had been hoped the piece would be ready for spring 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of JRR Tolkien leaving Pembroke but then the pandemic struck.

Fast forward four years and the memorial is finally complete and now takes pride of place at the University of Oxford which was where the legendary author wrote his epic tales about Middle Earth that have immortalised him as a writer.

The memorial to JRR Tolkien at Pembroke College, OxfordThe memorial to JRR Tolkien at Pembroke College, Oxford (Image: Tim Tolkien)

The artwork, created with a help from Andrew Dean of AJD Foundries and John Read of Brierley Heritage Foundry in Meeting Lane, Brierley Hill, has been sited in the university’s old quadrangle next to the windows of what were Tolkien’s rooms when he was in post.

Tim said: “This has been an unexpectedly long Journey - more than a decade in the making.

“It was with great delight and a huge sigh of relief that fantasy author Neil Gaiman and I unveiled the artwork to the assembled crowd of invited guests in the old quadrangle at Pembroke College on an unexpectedly sunny afternoon.”

He paid tribute to his friend Steve Sparrow who engraved and enamelled the brass plaques before he passed away in 2020 and Tim added that the intricate detail featured in the piece was his “attempt in a small way to evoke a similar experience as for the reader of Tolkien”.