Ian McKellen Joins Campaign To Restore J.R.R. Tolkien’s Oxford Home

by Erik Amaya

The beacons are lit and Gondor calls for aid.

EW reports the Oxford residence where professor and author J.R.R. Tolkien devised much of the Middle-earth fans enjoy today is for sale and Lord of the Rings actor like Ian McKellan are encouraging fans to help convert it into a literary center. The initiative is called Project Northmoor and their great aim is to make the center the home of Tolkien scholarship.

“There is no centre devoted to Tolkien studies anywhere in the world – a remarkable fact considering the writer’s importance and continuing popularity,” the organization states on its site. “This is the perfect house to set this right.”

Part of the plan will be renovating the house to appear as it did in 1940, a time after The Hobbit was published and the professor worked hard to keep his legendarium from infiltrating the sequel novel fans were already begging him to write. The organization hopes to use the center for “retreats, writing seminars and other cultural events.”

The current target for the crowdfunding campaign is £4.5m (roughly $6 million) to purchase the house and begin the envisioned renovations. Funds beyond that will be put toward a scholarship fund for low-income writers and researchers, a model Hobbit house in the eventual back garden, and some other curious architectural features themed to Middle-earth.

Donations are now being taken at Project Northmoor‘s website.

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