Tolkien Fans Hope to Make Oxford Home a ‘Rivendell’ for Writers

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Project Northmoor is fundraising to turn the place where the Catholic author wrote ‘The Lord of the Rings’ into a center for creating faith-inspired fantasy.

Fantasy novel enthusiasts wish to turn the house of famed Catholic author J. R. R. Tolkien in Oxford, where he wrote The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, into a meeting place for writers, screenwriters, and filmmakers from all cultures and faith backgrounds.

In 1930, Tolkien moved into the house at 20 Northmoor Road where his children would grow up during the Second World War. Project Northmoor is a charity created with the purpose of buying the house, currently for sale for roughly $6 million. The project has already raised about $1 million.

While many influential English writers, such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy, have a center or museum dedicated to them, there is no equivalent that pays tribute to Tolkien’s legacy.

The Oxford City Council will not allow the property to be turned into a museum, since it’s in a residential area, but Tolkien fans hope it might become a literary center of discussion and encounter for those who wish to delve deeper into the world of Middle Earth.

Actors who were a part of the Lord of the Rings movie franchise have also voiced their support, including Martin Freeman, who played the hobbit Bilbo Baggins; Sir Ian McKellen, who starred as the wizard Gandalf; and John Rhys-Davies, who played the dwarf Gimli.

“I think it would be wonderful to go and read and be inspired by Tolkien,” Julia Golding, an award-winning author and screenwriter who founded Project Northmoor, told Religion News Service.

Golding said she hopes the place will be “a version of Rivendell,” the elven city in “The Lord of the Rings” where sojourners from all fantastical races and backgrounds meet for reflection and, of course, adventure.

The …

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