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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 10:38 GMT
Tolkien house wins listed status
Tolkien's house
The house has been given Grade II listed status
The house where JRR Tolkien wrote the Hobbit and most of the Lord of the Rings has been given protected status.

Despite having no special architectural qualities, 20 Northmoor Road in Oxford is to be a Grade II listed building.

Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh announced the news on Tuesday, saying the decision was made on the basis of Professor Tolkien's importance.

The 1920s house was occupied by the author, who wrote his novels in the drawing room, from 1930 to 1947.

Tolkien wrote part of Lord of the Rings in the drawing room
It was bought by a private buyer in September for a sum in excess of 1.5m.

Mr McIntosh said: "Buildings are usually listed because of their fine architecture or unique design.

"But we can also give protection to buildings that have historical association with nationally important people or events.

"Professor Tolkien's house in Oxford is a fine example of this."

The listed status means that any future alterations will have to respect the character of the building and its preservation must be taken into account in any redevelopment.

The house was built in 1924 by Fred Openshaw, a local architect, for bookshop-owner Basil Blackwell.

Tolkien's family first lived at number 22, but he later acquired the lease of the eight-bedroom house next door.

The only alteration to the building was made by Tolkien himself, who removed a wall between a former study and the drawing room.

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