The Oddities in the News Page

On this month's Oddities in the News Page:

"Lord of the Rings" actors want to buy the original J. R. R. Tolkien home


Auburn Castle
Time Travel Paradox
Almost Buried Alive
Time to Kill the Penny?
Circling Ships



20 Northmoor Road

The home, located at 20 Northmoor Road in Oxford, went on the market last year, per the NYT, but the listing was recently withdrawn to accommodate Project Northmoor's three-month effort.

"The Lord of the Rings" stars back effort to help buy J.R.R. Tolkien's former home


Several "The Lord of the Rings" actors, including Sir Ian McKellen, John Rhys-Davies and Martin Freeman, are joining forces in an effort to help purchase the former home of famed author J.R.R. Tolkien.

The goal, organized by Project Northmoor, is to buy Tolkien's old house and turn it into a literary center dedicated to his works. British author Julia Golding has secured a three-month window to purchase the house from its current owners before it will be put on the open market, the group said in a news release. The fundraising target for the project is £4.5 million, or $6 million, which the project said it will use 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."

Project Northmoor, named for the street where the house is located, on Wednesday released a video featuring McKellen, who played Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films; Freeman, who took on the role of Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit" trilogy; Rhys-Davis and several Tolkien scholars to promote its fundraising efforts.

"Unbelievably, considering his importance, there is no center devoted to Tolkien anywhere in the world," said John Rhys-Davies, the actor who played the dwarf Gimli and voiced Treebeard the ent in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of the books, in a statement. "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."

Golding, an award-winning British author who is spearheading the project, told CBS News, "We've had an amazing response since we launched only a few hours ago."

"Tolkien releases an outpouring of what I can only call love and many people are giving multiple times to ensure names of loved ones make it into our Red Book of Funders," she added.

Joseph Loconte, author of "A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War" and a scholar featured in the video, told CBS News, "We have a remarkable opportunity to preserve this haven of creativity where Tolkien produced his epic tale of the struggle for Middle-earth. The home can become a place where writers and artists, like Tolkien, can find a refuge to create works of moral beauty."

The house, an hour's drive from London, has remained virtually unchanged since it was built in 1924. Tolkien and his family moved there in 1930 while he worked as a professor at Oxford University. During the 17 years Tolkien and his family lived at Northmoor, the author penned his most famous works, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit." Tolkien also entertained many guests at the home, a number of whom were themselves influential writers, such as "The Chronicles of Narnia" author C.S. Lewis.

Fans of Tolkien who want to support Project Northmoor can donate now. The fundraiser will run until March 15, 2021. 

Inside the house





About Project Northmoor


There is no centre devoted to Tolkien studies anywhere in the world – a remarkable fact considering the writer’s importance and continuing popularity. This is the perfect house to set this right.


If the house is secured for Tolkien fans, it will be renovated so that the guest can experience what it would have been like to call on the Professor in 1940. Upstairs the bedrooms would reflect the cultures he invented and the garden would be restored to a beauty of which the inventor of Sam Gamgee would be proud.


About J.J.R. Tolkien


John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran (a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army), philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings .

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English language and literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C.S. Lewis.

Christopher Tolkien published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion . These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the word "legendarium" to the larger part of these writings.

Tolkien once described The Lord of the Rings to his friend Robert Murray, an English Jesuit priest, as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision." There are many theological themes underlying the narrative including the battle of good versus evil, the triumph of humility over pride, and the activity of grace. In addition the saga includes themes which incorporate death and immortality, mercy and pity, resurrection, salvation, repentance, self-sacrifice, free will, justice, fellowship, authority and healing. In addition The Lord's Prayer "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" was reportedly present in Tolkien's mind as he described Frodo's struggles against the power of the "One Ring.''

The Tolkien Society

The Tolkien Society is an educational charity, literary society, and international fan club, devoted to promoting the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Registering in England (charity no. 273809), the Society was founded in 1969 and received the blessing of Tolkien himself when he agreed to become the Society’s president; he remains the Society’s president to this day whilst his daughter, Priscilla, serves as our Vice-President.

Although based in the U. K., the Society has hundreds of members in dozens of countries around the world who hold local events in their areas and who all receive the Society’s journals Amon Hen and Mallorn. What binds all members together is a shared passion for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.