Architects hoping to raise £1.85 billion to build Lord of the Rings city in England

Don't worry, it's not Mordor

In a plan that could either be described as brilliantly ambitious or utterly mad, a group of architects have launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the hope of raising enough money to build a life-sized replica of Minas Tirith, a city from J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Of course, even Sauron probably needed a few thousand helpers and a lot of funds to build Barad-dûr, and this project is no different. The team are hoping to raise £1.85 billion over the course of their 60 day Indiegogo campaign. And they said J.R.R Tolkein had a great imagination.

The Realise Minas Tirith crowd-funding page states that the plan was hatched by a group of architects and engineers who share a love of Tolkein and Peter Jackson’s depiction of the city. Led by Jonathan Wilson, the group hope to create a fully-functioning replica of Gondor’s capital somewhere in the south of England, which isn’t quite Middle Earth, but we’ve heard land prices there have skyrocketed since the Third Age.

The city would naturally serve as a tourist attraction, but also as a place to live and work with residential and commercial spaces. The cost breakdown of the project’s total £1.85 billion cost is £1.4 billion set aside for materials, £15 million for land, and £188 million for labour. Any money left over after the project’s completion in 2023 would be used to maintain and provide public services in the city until 2053.

The rewards for donating to Indiegogo include your name on a monument for £15, a one night stay in the city for £500, or being made a Lord or Lady of the city, with use of a horse-drawn carriage for £100,000.

The team state that they are ‘fully aware of the ambition’ of their project, promising that if they don’t reach their goal contributors won’t be charged a penny. Considering that at time of writing £51,765 has been raised with only 47 days to go, as much as we’d like to see it happen, it doesn’t seem entirely likely that the goal will be reached.

Then again, stranger things have happened. There’s got to be a dragon’s lair we can raid somewhere…

Main Image: Realise Minas Tirith