Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 17:43 UK

Worker uncovers Tolkien postcard

Fireplace in JRR Tolkien"s former home
The fireplace will be removed before the house is demolished

A demolition worker has discovered a postcard sent to JRR Tolkien's wife, behind a fireplace at the Lord Of The Rings author's former Dorset home.

Stephen Malton made the discovery at the three-bedroom bungalow, in Lakeside Road, Poole, where Tolkien retired with his wife Edith in 1968.

The fireplace is due to be salvaged before the property is demolished, and will be sold along with the postcard.

A bronze fairy and stone gryphon found in the garden will also be auctioned.

We have looked under the floors - if we find a Hobbit that will be the icing on the cake
Stephen Malton, demolition worker

Mr Malton, 42, who owns Bournemouth-based ProDem Demolition, said: "You could have knocked me down with a feather.

"To find something with the Tolkien name on it is quite amazing.

"We have looked under the floors - if we find a Hobbit that will be the icing on the cake."

The postcard is dated 1968 and addressed to the author's wife at the Miramar Hotel, Bournemouth, where the couple spent many holidays.

It depicts a landscape in Cork, Ireland, and is signed "Lin", which Mr Malton believes to be fantasy author Lin Carter, who wrote A Look Behind The Lord Of The Rings, published a year later in 1969.

The postcard reads: "I have been thinking of you a lot and hope everything has gone as well as could be expected in the most difficult circumstances."

Tolkien moved to Oxford in 1972, after Edith died, and sold the Poole bungalow for 23,000 to Stephen Frankel, who put it on the market for 1m in 2006.

Developers Cranbrook Homes (Southern) Ltd bought the property and secured planning permission to replace it with two four-bedroom family homes.

'Tolkien tower' opens to public
01 Apr 08 |  West Midlands
Tolkien's Hobbit fetches 60,000
18 Mar 08 |  England
Tolkien's home to be demolished
07 Sep 07 |  Dorset

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