A campaign has been launched to save the home of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien so it can be turned into a museum.

Tolkien and his family moved into 20 Northmoor Road in north Oxford in 1930, and lived there for 17 years while he was professor of Anglo-Saxon at the university. It was there he wrote The Hobbit, a novel that began as a bedtime story for his children, and followed it up with The Lord of the Rings.

Read again: Oxford house where Tolkien wrote The Hobbit

Author Julia Golding has launched Project Northmoor, a charity that has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise £4.5m to buy the house and turn it into a literary centre before it is put on the market.

Oxford Mail:

Sir Ian McKellen

The project has been backed by actors including Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s adaptations of Tolkien’s books, Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo Baggins, and John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli.

Oxford Mail:

Martin Freeman

The seven-bedroom house, which has a large garden, would be renovated to show what it would have been like when Tolkien lived there, with plans to run a series of retreats and cultural events in the building and online.

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The house, which is Grade II-listed, does not belong to the Tolkien estate – the author moved out in 1947 – and the estate is not involved with Project Northmoor.

Oxford Mail:

Inside 20 Northmoor Road

“Unbelievably, considering his importance, there is no centre devoted to Tolkien anywhere in the world,” said Mr Rhys-Davies.

“The vision is to make Tolkien’s house into a literary hub that will inspire new generations of writers, artists and film-makers for many years to come.”

“To raise $6m in three months is a huge challenge,” said Ms 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.

Oxford Mail:

The bathroom

“We cannot achieve this without the support of the worldwide community of Tolkien fans, our fellowship of funders,” said Sir Ian.

Ms Golding has negotiated a three-month fundraising window with the current owner and hopes to raise £4.5m. The house would cost £4m, with the remainder to be used on building regulations, startup costs and developing the literary programmes.

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The kitchen

Any further money raised would be used to establish a fund to help those on low incomes to come to the house for courses, build a hobbit house at the end of the garden, or a "Smaug’s lair" for pipe smokers.

Once established, the charity hopes to be financially self-sustaining.

Oxford Mail:

The bedroom

"Our vision is to make Tolkien’s house not a dry museum, but a homely house of continuing creativity,” said the project organisers.

Tolkien, who died in 1973, was a member of The Inklings writers' group, which also included CS Lewis. They would meet in the Eagle and Child in St Giles.