LandLord of the Rings

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A Cotswold licensee is preparing for an invasion of hobbits after his pub was christened the real life Prancing Pony from fantasy adventure Lord of...

A Cotswold licensee is preparing for an invasion of hobbits after his pub was christened the real life Prancing Pony from fantasy adventure Lord of the Rings fame.

Keith Pendry, leaseholder of the Bell Inn in Moreton-in-Marsh, was given a special print by a branch of the J R R Tolkien Society after painstaking research revealed the pub to be the inspiration behind Middle Earth's most famous pub.

And now Mr Pendry is ready to take full advantage of his pub's historic influence.

"For me as a publican it's a value selling point," he said. "We get lots of tourists anyway, and since I put up the print there's been huge interest."

He added: "It's early days yet, but I think I might even change the name of the pub to the Prancing Pony. We get a few hobbit-esque types in here already!"

The society believes the similarities between the two pubs, including the three storeys of the pub building and its entrance via a courtyard, and Moreton's similarities to the town of Bree, where the hobbits find the Prancing Pony on a cold, rainy night, is irrefutable evidence Tolkien used the pub as inspiration.

Mr Pendry is happy with comparisons, good and bad. He said: "It is good for the town. It will bring in more tourists and it will be good for my trade. I'll probably get called Barliman Butterbur walking down the road! But I'm big enough to take it."

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