Man making Lord of the Rings-style map of Northamptonshire urges local people to help fill it with 'the hidden history of the area’

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A man has taken the time to create a map of Northamptonshire in the same style as J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved books The Lord of the Rings – and needs your help to fill it out.

After creating maps of other counties in England, Chris James Birse from Teeside took to Facebook to ask local people what should be included in the map he’s making in Photoshop, using their knowledge to make it as detailed and immersive as possible.

To fill out the Northamptonshire map, Chris is looking for lesser-known things and the ‘hidden history of the area’ that makes Northamptonshire unique.

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He said: “Me not being a local, I don’t know what’s down there, apart from the really obvious and famous things, so I’m after people’s input for hidden barrows, burial grounds and even some of the mythological elements you’ve got there.

Chris is on the lookout for Northamptonshire's hidden historyChris is on the lookout for Northamptonshire's hidden history
Chris is on the lookout for Northamptonshire's hidden history

“It’s anything historic and a bit different, the kind of thing where if I were to Google it, they wouldn’t come up.”

Each map takes around a month to complete, and about 80 hours of time within that period, which Chris is having to balance with childcare. That feature towns, villages and key areas of interest, all accurately implemented in the signature Tolkien style, which was made famous by the beloved Lord of the Rings books.

Chris started out with the hobby after writing a fantasy novel of his own and needing to come up with a fictional map at the beginning of the book. This prompted him to create on of his home region and since then has continued making them of other counties.

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He added: “Northamptonshire is one of the last ones I’ve got left to do. Then, I’m going to stitch them together and hopefully make a massive digital one where people can interact with the different places, so that when you click on it, it’ll take you to their website or National Trust site.

“I’m hoping to get this done by the end of the month, that’s the plan.”

Can you think of any important pieces or places that need adding? Let us know by emailing [email protected]

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