Establishing the First Centre in the World, Dedicated to all Things J.R.R. Tolkien
There is no centre devoted to Tolkien studies anywhere in the world – a remarkable fact considering the writer’s importance and continuing popularity. Purchasing Tolkien’s former home would be a fantastic place to establish such a Centre. An effort to do so is being undertaken by the cast of The Lord of the Rings movies.
If the former home is secured for Tolkien fans, it will be renovated so that guests can experience what it would probably have been like to call on the writer in 1940. Upstairs the bedrooms would reflect the depth of cultures that he invented and the garden would be restored to a beauty of which both Tolkien and Sam Gamgee would be proud.
People would then be able to be a guest at the Centre by booking into its program of retreats, writing seminars and other cultural events, or by joining in virtually with an online program. – cPaul
Dec 2, 2020
Sir Ian McKellen, Annie Lennox, Martin Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Sir Derek Jacobi and Others Join with Author Julia Golding for Crowdfunding Effort to Try and Save J.R.R. Tolkien’s Famed House
Tolkien Fans Can Help Save 20 Northmoor Road Starting December 2!
OXFORD, ENGLAND (December 2, 2020) – Ian McKellen, Annie Lennox, Martin Freeman, John Rhys- Davies, Sir Derek Jacobi and a host of others have joined with award-winning author Julia Golding to launch a crowdfunding campaign to try and save 20 Northmoor Road, the Oxford house in which J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, in advance of its being put on the market for sale.
The initiative, Project Northmoor, aims to purchase the house and set up a literary center in honor of Tolkien, one of the most beloved literary writers of the Twentieth Century.
McKellen, the famed actor who earned an Oscar nomination for his role as wizard Gandalf in the 2001 film, The Fellowship of the Rings, is helping to gather a new fellowship of funders to purchase the house. The crowdfunding campaign begins on December 2nd at www.projectnorthmoor.org.
To kick off the project, McKellen and a host of celebrities and others associated with the Tolkien universe have come together for a special video, to launch here – also on December 2. Appearing the video are music legend Annie Lennox (who wrote and performed the Oscar winning theme “Into the West,” from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King), Emmy Awarding-winning actor Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit trilogy), actor John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), the Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Sir Derek Jacobi (Tolkien, Farmer Giles of Ham), and illustrator John Howe (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit). Other notables including Lord Rowan Williams of Oystermouth (a former Archbishop of Canterbury), Joseph Loconte (author of A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and the Great War), Chris Broadway (aka Quickbeam, TheOneRing.net), and more.
The period house, which is an hour’s drive from London, is largely unchanged since it was built in 1924. It features six large bedrooms upstairs, one bedroom on the ground floor and a spacious garden. The Tolkien family moved there in 1930 and stayed there for 17 years, during which time JRR Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and where he also hosted C.S. Lewis.
With the support of volunteers in the U.S., Golding has seized on this once-in-a-generation opportunity and negotiated a 3-month fundraising window with the current owner. The aim is to buy it using crowdfunding to include Tolkien fans from around the world. The funding target is $6 million USD ($4.5m pounds), of which $5.3 million USD is to pay for the house. The remainder will go to the necessary renovations to comply with building regulations, start-up costs of the charity, with additional funds going towards developing the literary programs. The operation will be financially self-sustaining once established.
“To raise six million dollars in three months is a huge challenge,” says Golding. “However, we need only to look at Frodo and Sam’s journey from Rivendell to Mount Doom, which took that same amount of time – and we are inspired that we can do this too!”
“We cannot achieve this without the support of the worldwide community of Tolkien fans, our fellowship of funders,” said Ian McKellen.
As a charitable venture, the mission of Project Northmoor is to promote Tolkien’s work, allow a diverse range of fantasy writers and artists to come together to write, learn and create, and preserve the fascinating house for future generations to enjoy. The facility would also have an engaging online presence to bring into the house’s programme those who cannot travel to Oxford.
“Unbelievably, considering his importance, there is no centre devoted to Tolkien anywhere in the world,” said John Rhys-Davies, the actor who played both Gimli and Treebeard in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. “The vision is to make Tolkien’s house into a literary hub that will inspire new generations of writers, artists and filmmakers for many years to come.”
Fans may donate to the Project Northmoor crowdfunding campaign at: www.projectnorthmoor.org, starting December 2 and going through March 15, 2021. If the campaign to purchase the house is successful, donors will have an array of benefits: from having their name listed in the Red Book of funders that will sit in Tolkien’s study, to being invited to VIP events and even overnight stays – depending on the level of donation.
To donate or for more information: www.projectnorthmoor.org
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