Tolkien’s Church at Risk of Being Torn Down?


The church were JRR Tolkien, one of the world’s greatest writers and one of the greatest minds to come out of  Birmingham, is at risk of neglect, decay and inappropriate development.

The church was added to The Heritage at Risk Register, a compilation of vulnerable heritage sites ran by the campaign group Historic England. The Birmingham Oratory, where the renowned author who penned The Lord of the Rings is based in Edgbaston and is one of 42 sites in the West Midlands to join the list.

The oratory was founded in 1848, Maryvale by John Henry Newman and moved to Edgbaston in 1852. After Newman’s death, the original oratory was replaced by an even larger building as a memorial to him.

Birmingham’s Moseley Road Baths, built back in 1907 in Balsall Heath, a popular site in the second city and is also on the list, though campaigners and conservationists are working to preserve the building.

Rhodri Evans, of Heritage Risk, says:

“Across the region, many historic sites are at risk of being lost but the good news is that we have removed 51 sites.

“Historic England continues to invest grant aid and to dedicate time and expertise working with owners, developers and communities to find solutions to rescue precious sites so people can continue to enjoy them and the stories they tell about our past.”

The Heritage at Risk Register:


– Church of the Immaculate Conception (the Oratory), Edgbaston

– Church of St Alban the Martyr, Conybere Street, Highgate

– Parish Church of St Aidan, Herbert Road, Small Heath


– Church of St Mary, Craswall

– Church of St James, Cradley, Cradley

– Church of St Giles, Goodrich, Goodrich

– Church of St James, Kinnersley

– Church of St Michael, Croft Park, Croft and Yarpole

– Church of St Mary, Kings Pyon, King’s Pyon

– Church of St James, Ocle Pychard

– Church of the Holy Trinity, Preston Wynne


– Church of St Mary the Virgin, Church Street, Shawbury

– Church of St Giles, Farlow

– Church of St Mary, Highley

– Church of St Mary, Stottesdon

– Church of St George, Church Street, Clun

– Church of St Margaret, Acton Scott

– Church of St Mary, Cleeton St Mary, Bitterley

– Church of St Peter, Coreley

– Parish Church, Wheathill

– Ditherington Flax Mill: Cross Building, Shrewsbury

– Ditherington Flax Mill: Flax Warehouse, Shrewsbury

– Church of St Nicholas, Bridgnorth

– Standing cross in the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Alberbury with Cardeston

– Site of pumping engine at Muxton Bridge colliery, Lilleshall and Donnington


– Church of St John the Baptist, Edingale

– Manor House, Hamstall Ridware

– Multivallate hillfort at Bury Bank, Stone Rural


– Church of St Peter, Tysoe Road, Radway

– Roman Catholic Church of St Peter Paul and Elizabeth, Coughton

– Church of St Michael, Church Hill, Warmington

– Church of St Mary, Sheepy Road, Atherstone


– St John, Mamble

– Chapel and Cloister at the Convent of the Holy Name, Ranelagh Road, Malvern

– Church of St Michael, Hanbury Road, Stoke

– Westwood House, Westwood

– St James, Norton, Norton Juxta Kempsey

– The Almonry, Merstow Green, Evesham

– Church of St Mary, Church End, Hanley Castle

– Church of St Helen, Fish Street, Worcester

– Edgar Tower entrance to the Cathedral Close

– Park Wood Camp, Ipsley




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