The two greatest craftsmen of the Second Age, the elf-lord Celebrimbor and the Dwarf Narvi, built the Doors. They were made like a flush door, the jambs invisible to the eye, and matched so perfectly with the mountain rock that, when closed, the Doors could not be seen. The slabs were made by Narvi out of grey material stronger than stone and inlayed by Celebrimbor with Ithildin, which can only be seen in starlight and moonlight; when visible, the fine silver-like inlay showed a hammer and anvil (emblems of Durin), a crown and seven stars, two trees surmounted by crescent moons, and a single star (the emblem of the House of Feanor).
The inscription on the archivlot read:
“Ennyn Durin Aran Moria. Pedo mellon a Minno. Im Narvi hain echant. Celebrimbor o Eregion tethant. I thiw hin”
(“The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak friend and enter. I Narvi made them. Celebrimbor of Hollin drew these signs.”) – J.R.R Tolkien
You can see why so many Lord of the Rings fans are convinced that Tolkien, who passed by St. Edward’s Church in Stow-on-the-Wold, may have been inspired to base his description of the doors to fabled Moria on the ancient oak doors guarded by two gnarled Yew trees for a millennia or so.
The village itself is a chocolate box example of England – soft, buttery Cotswold Limestone, lending a picturesque visage of how farming England used to be. The town is teeny, based around a village market square where livestock fairs would gather to peddle their sheep, and servants would mill looking to find a better employer, a better life.
Now, it’s a sleepy tourist & sun trap, full of twisting lanes, Ivy-covered cottages and at certain times of the year hay bales for locals to gather round, toasting the spring sunshine with freshly pulled pints and tea cups full of the good stuff.
Not a bad life, hey?
In Autumn, the fields are laden with golden rape and hay bales awaiting their wintry duties, all crowned by cotton wool clouds.
It almost makes you want write poetry. Don’t worry, I won’t make you sit through it…
(Ps. the theme for the travel linkup this month is your most surprising destination. The reveal posts will roll out from the 1st of the month, and we’d love you to join in the fun!)