English actor Sir Ian McKellen is urging support for a fundraising campaign to raise £4.5m ($6.1m) to buy J.R.R.Tolkien’s house so it can be turned into a literary center. Project Northmoor aims to transform the Oxford dwelling into a house of continuing creativity, inspiring new generations of writers, artists and filmmakers.
McKellan tweeted a video of his support for the initiative, which is led by author Julia Golding. He was joined in the video by well-known people like Martin Freeman, John Rhys-Davies and Annie Lennox to urge Tolkien fans to contribute to the project. It aims to purchase 20 Northmoor Road, the house where Tolkien and his wife Edith resided with their young family in 1930. The author wrote The Lord of the Rings there as well as The Hobbit, which started off as a bedtime story for his children.
According to Project Northmoor, there is no center devoted to Tolkien studies anywhere in the world – a remarkable fact considering the writer’s importance and continuing popularity. If the house is secured for Tolkien fans, it will be renovated so that guests can experience what it would have been like to call on the professor in 1940. The bedrooms upstairs would be designed to reflect the cultures he invented and the garden would be also restored. Guests could book into its program of retreats, writing seminars and other cultural events, or join in virtually with its online program.
Further information is available from Project Northmoor’s website here.