EXPERIENCE Barnsley is hosting a unique Lord of the Rings-inspired exhibition to highlight JRR Tolkien’s connection to the town.

The Magic of Middle-Earth exhibition opened at the weekend with a launch party that invited people to dress up and share their love of Tolkien’s seminal stories.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore more than 200 rare objects and artworks from Tolkien’s famous fantasy world, with hands-on activities that push kids to develop their creativity.

Organiser of the exhibition, Matt Fox, said: “I love Tolkien’s work and I’m a bit of a collector.

“They say that collecting is a sickness and showing it off is the cure so it’s fantastic that I’m able to let the public see all of this.

“We want it to feel like a nice family friendly trip to a world of magic, elves, wizards and crumbling castles.”

Beyond the entertainment families can find from the exhibition, Experience Barnsley will also be showing off Tolkien’s connection to local philanthropist Sir Michael Saddler.

Matt added: “He did have a close friendship with Michael.

“It was actually Saddler who first got Tolkien a position as a professor of English language and they would work together a lot.

“Researchers are going to hold some panels about the two of them for the public to attend.”