You only have to spend a day in the beautiful county of Lancashire to understand why it has been the inspiration for so many literary greats.

From the industrial history of Preston, to sweeping views across rugged landscapes, learn more about some of the past and present authors and their connection to Lancashire below.

Stonyhurst College, surrounded by manicured gardens and the luscious green of the Ribble Valley, has been home and inspiration to many great authors, including The Lord of The Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien, who had a great love for the nature and woodland that surrounded the College, it is even believed he wrote part of the famous trilogy in one of the colleges classrooms. Journey on the Tolkien Trail around Hurst Green and explore some of the locations said to inspire The Lord of The Rings. 

Another author to take inspiration from the grand estate was Arthur Conan Doyle, a student at the college from September 1868, who later went on to create the famous Sherlock Holmes novels. Baskerville Hall in ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ is said to be inspired by the College, and Conan Doyle also named Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Moriarty after a fellow pupil. 

Stepping away now from Stonyhurst College and the Ribble Valley to the picturesque hamlet of Wycoller, in Pendle, and the world famous Brontë sisters. Although Yorkshire quite rightly claim the sisters, they would have actually spent much of their time in Lancashire walking from their family home at Haworth across the South Pennine Moors, often visiting Wycoller and Wycoller Hall, the secluded ruins that still stand today. The Hall has even been said to be the model for Ferndean Manor in Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre and was used to illustrate the 1898 edition. 

Whisking over to Hoghton, near Preston, you’ll find Hoghton Tower, the grand ancestral home of the de Hoghton family, where legendary playwright William Shakspeare has said to have stayed as a guest of the de Hoghton family themselves, tutoring the family’s children and making use of the house’s extensive library. Charles Dickens is also said to have visited the Tower in 1854, and then again in 1867, when he gave a reading in nearby Preston. 

Moving to a more recent time, Lancashire continues to produce inspiring authors that bewitch and enthrall their readers. 

One such author is Joseph Delaney, famous for his series The Wardstone Chronicles. In this dark fantasy series, you will find places such as Priestown and Caster based loosely on the Lancashire cities of Preston and Lancaster as well as many more recognisable places.

Preston has also inspired, New York Times bestselling author, A. J. Hartley, who this year has partnered with The University of Central Lancashire to publish his newest book, Cold Bath Street. Set on the cobble streets of Preston this Young Adult thriller is not one to miss. 

Alternatively take a trip to the Lancashire coast that inspired Andrew Michael Hurley’s award-winning gothic horror. Inspired by the rugged coast of Silverdale and Morecambe Bay, the novel went on to win the 2015 Costa First Novel Award, as well as the 2016 British Book Awards Book of the Year.  

Whether you want to be inspired to create your own great story or simply walk in the footsteps of literary legends, take a short break in Lancashire and soak up the creativity. 


Stonyhurst College
Historic House
Stonyhurst College

One of the largest buildings in the North West. This magnificent 16thC manor house is home to a famous Catholic co-educational independent boarding and day school. Tours include dormitories, library, chapels and school rooms.

Hoghton Tower
Historic House
Hoghton Tower

An historic house with magnificent state apartments, banqueting hall, ballroom, grounds and dolls' houses on display. Hoghton Tower has been a part of Lancashire’s landscape since 1565.



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