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They Did What?: 

The £2bn UK Lord of the Rings city


The fictional city of Minas Tirith could become very real

This is one of the most ambitious crowdfunding projects ever, arguably on par with the one to bail Greece out of debt. It aims to build a full-scale replica of the fictional city of Minas Tirith from Lord of the Rings, and it aims to do so right here in the UK.

As you can imagine, such an endeavour will cost a pretty penny. The people behind it are looking for £1.85 billion to make their dream a reality. Seriously.

So who’s behind this crackpot scheme? It’s a bunch of architects and engineers who – unsurprisingly – are big fans of all things Tolkien. It’s headed by a Jonathan Wilson, who aims to replicate the Minas Tirith as seen in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films.

The team aim to build the city somewhere in southern England – they claim to have two sites under consideration, but don’t say where they are.

The town would function as a tourist attraction, but also as a place to live and work.

The funds would be split up thusly: £1.4 billion for materials, £15 million for land and £188 million for labour. Whatever is left would be used to run maintenance and public services until 2053.

You can order your house there now. They’re rated on a star system, like hotels. A five-star one-bedroom house will set you back £700,000, while a luxury four-bedroom penthouse will cost £1.72 million. Still, probably cheaper than London.

If your funds don’t stretch that far, you can pledge £15 and have your name on the town’s monument. Or £25 and you’ll get a ‘free’ tour. £50 gets you a plaque on the Wall of Honour, and £500 bags you a night at one of the city’s two-star lodgings.

However, don’t get too excited. At time of writing, the project had raised just over £10,000, which, while impressive, leaves it considerably short of its goal. It’s going to need some magic to make it happen.


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