J.R.R. Tolkien's residence at 20 Northmoor Road in Oxford, England will hit the market soon and the "Lord of the Rings" cast is calling on the fans for help in coming up with the hefty sum of $6 million to purchase his home.

Tolkien and his family lived in their Oxford home for 17 years and it was there where he wrote "The Hobbit," which was initially meant to be a bedtime story for his children. He followed that story with "The Lord of the Rings."

John Rhys-Davies and Sir Ian McKellen, who portrayed Gimli and Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, respectively, kick-started an initiative called Project Northmoor to save Tolkien's home. They hope to turn it into a literary centre for writers and aspiring writers and for the fans.

The cast hopes to renovate the home and turn it into a "literary hub that will inspire new generations of writers, artists and filmmakers for many years to come." They want to make Tolkien's home the first centre in the world dedicated to his studies.

"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," Rhys-Davies said in a statement.

The cast said they can only achieve their goal with the help and support of "the worldwide community of Tolkien fans, our fellowship of funders."

Project Northmoor aims to renovate Tolkien's home so that guests "can experience what it would have been like to call on the Professor in 1940." The upstairs bedrooms will reflect the cultures he invented and the garden will be "restored to a beauty of which the inventor of Sam Gamgee would be proud."

Guests can then participate in its "programme of retreats, writing seminars and other cultural events, or join in virtually with the online programme."

McKellen appeared in a video urging everyone's support in their fundraising campaign. Martin Freeman, who played Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," also joined the initiative.

Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen arrives at the UK premiere of the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on 11 December 2003. Lee Besford/Reuters