Welcome to Steve’s Website

Author of Magic Mirror Maps and Secret Shire of Cotswold

Steve Ponty was born in Pontypridd in Wales, but now lives in the Cotswolds. With a languages background of French and Latin, and knowing Welsh from his roots, the ‘Author’ studied classical literature and poetry…..and law at Cambridge. After practising law for over thirty years in the city of London, Steve decided to become an author.

Steve read Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and became intrigued by the maps of Middle Earth. He began to study the topography of the shires in the Midlands of England , and then began to compare them to those of Middle Earth. By close comparison Steve realised that the maps actually resembled each other but in reverse.

Steve spent over ten years researching the settings Professor Tolkien turned from reality in the shire counties into fantasy fiction. It is the map reversal that serves as the true inspiration for these well-known and much acclaimed works, translated into virtually every language worldwide. The Lord of the Rings was the biggest selling book of the twentieth century.

By reversing the map of the Shires and looking at it back to front, Steve has identified the Cotswolds and many other parts of the four shires ( Gloucester-, Warwick-, Worcester- and Oxford-) marked on the stone just outside Moreton in Marsh and used by the Professor on his model for the Three Shire Stone in Lord of the Rings. This is just one of countless secrets of geography hidden in the epic story.
The Cotswold connections include Chipping Norton (Hobbiton), Moreton in Marsh (Bree), Meon Hill (Weathertop), Brecon Hill (Trollshaws), and the Malvern Hills (Misty Mountains) with Great Malvern very clearly mapped for Rivendell, all places of the Shire in J.R.R.Tolkien’s books.

Tolkien followers will recall Archet (Chipping Campden), Combe (Blockley) and Staddle (Stow-on-the-Wold) of Breeland, indeed all in the vicinity of Moreton in Marsh.

Over the Welsh border, we have the Wye valley about Tintern for Lothlorien and the Forest of Dean for Fangorn Forest. Steve’s journey in fact extends down into continental Europe, through northern France (via Cair Andros, Paris) over the Pyrenees (Ered Nimrais) and through Rome (Minas Tirith) onwards to Mordor…… where the shadows lie….. in Germany.