Sarehole Mill Cole Bank Road Birmingham, B13 0BD There has been a mill on this site since 1542, but the current building dates from the mid-18th Century. In the 1850s a steam engine was installed and a chimney built, which provides Sarehole Mill with its distinctive silhouette. The mill has connections with Matthew Boulton, who leased Sarehole Mill between 1756 and 1761 and used it as a ‘flatting mill’, producing sheet metal used for button manufacturing. Another famous connection is with the author JRR Tolkien, author of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy. He lived across the road from the mill. Later in life he stated how the mill and rural surroundings inspired his writings of Middle-earth.