Gimli and the gentleman who played him: John Rhys-Davies

The cast of Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS movies are reuniting to save Professor Tolkien’s home in Oxford. Project Northmoor is a crowdsourcing campaign to purchase #20 Northmoor Road, the home in Oxford where Professor J. R. R. Tolkien lived when he wrote both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. People magazine reported that Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf in LOTR, Magneto in the X-Men films, James Whale in Gods and Monsters), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli and the voice of Treebeard in LOTR, Professor Maximilian Arturo in Sliders, Bruder Parvus in The High Crusade, Sallah in the Indiana Jones movies) , and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, Dr. John H. Watson in Sherlock, Everett K. Ross in the MCU) are leading the drive to raise the money to purchase Tolkien’s former home and convert it into a Tolkien study center.

The plan is to restore most of #20 Northmoor Road to look as it would have during WWII, with some rooms having Middle-Earth themes. John Rhys-Davies said “If people are still reading in 1,000 years, Tolkien will be regarded as one of the great myth-makers of Britain and it will be evident within a matter of years that not to secure this place would have been such an act of arrogance and ignorance and folly on our part.”

John Ronald Reul Tolkien and his wife Edith moved into #20Northmoor Road, Oxford in 1930. They and their children lived there for seventeen years. In addition to the house becoming a literary center dedicated to Tolkien’s work, “the garden would be restored to a beauty of which the inventor of Sam Gamgee would be proud.”

#20 Northmoor Road is a spacious home in Oxford, roughly 4,000 square feet. It has six bedrooms and a 27 foot drawing room. The realtors say it is largely unchanged since it was built in 1924. There is a large garden (not currently to Sam Gamgee’s standards).

Project Northmoor hopes to raise six million dollars to buy and covert the home into a literary center which would host retreats, writing seminars, and other cultural events dedicated specifically to Tolkien’s work and then expanding to other fantasy and applied linguistics, or eventually online programs. For more information, check this link.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

J. R. R. Tolkien, CBE, FRSL.

Professor Tolkien was a poet, philosopher,essayist, linguist, educator, and novelist. He was as well-known and respected in academic circles for his translations of Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight, as he is in Geekdom for his adventure books. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Letters and a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He served king and country honorably in World War I.

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