The north Oxford house where JRR Tolkien wrote the children's classic The Hobbit is on sale for £1.5m.

Michael Maclagan

The Oxford University English professor lived at 20 Northmoor Road, below, between 1930 and 1947.

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit in the drawing room in the early 1930s after penning the famous first line "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" on the back of a dull exam paper.

The house goes on the market on Friday with the first viewers expected at the weekend.

Mark Charter, of Summertown-based estate agents Carter Jonas, said: "It would be lovely if someone with literary connections bought the house, given its history, but the market will prevail.

"This is a large family home and could be sold to someone from the London area, or to someone already living in Oxford who is trading up.

"The house has not really been altered since Tolkien's time and perhaps needs a little upgrading but it's still good value at £1.5m.

"This is a rare opportunity to buy a house of this quality and size of garden, irrespective of the house's history."

The house includes four reception rooms, a servant's quarters, seven bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large garden.

Mr Charter said the property's proximity to Oxford High School and the Dragon School would also make it attractive.

After Tolkien moved to Sandfield Road, Headington, Michael and Jean Maclagan lived at the house for more than 50 years.

They both died last year. Mr Maclagan was a former history lecturer at Trinity College and former Lord Mayor of Oxford.