Tuesday, August 10, 2010

J.R.R. Tolkien's Oxford home

As promised the other day, here is the house where Tolkien wrote much of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

In all honesty, this photograph makes it look more attractive than it really is. The house, 20 Northmoor Road, may look back to the Arts and Crafts movement, but it also looks forward to 1930s council housing.

The Tolkien family lived here between 1930 and 1947. Before that they lived for a few years at no. 22, which is just visible among the foliage.

More on the subject can be found at Tolkien's Oxford.


Jane said...

It's the pebble dashing that makes it ugly. I grew up in an almost identical house to this one. Under the influence of the 60's TV DIY guru Barry Bucknell, my dad tried to cheer up the exterior by painting the pebble-dash cream. Then he got carried away and painted the brick trim red. The red bled into the cream at the same time thatMacarthur Park was a hit. I was delighted to be living in a cake left out in the rain.

I don't know what you've got against 1930's council housing - usually built to a higher standard than private housing of the same era.

Jonathan Calder said...

I have nothing against 1930s council housing. There were several fine streets of it in my old ward, and those houses must have seemed like palaces when people first moved into them out of the alleys behind the High Street.

It's just that the houses in this part of North Oxford are so attractive that I expected to find something better. And, no doubt irrationally, it was a surprise to find a fantasy writer living in such a prosaic house.

Chris Matthews said...

Not for from Lowdham....

"The inspiration for the Lord of the Rings trilogy was penned in Gedling."