The other day my good friend Darmon Richter stopped by Southampton to visit and told me he was headed to a Hobbit House on some farmland in Somerset. The back story was that a local farmer, in the 1980s, built a house for his sheep of stacked stone and, well, got carried away, eventually quarrying it out of the ground to continue building. Curiosity piqued, I tagged along on the exploration and was actually blown away by the level of detail in the construction.
Apparently the shepherd used to sleep in here with the sheep and I was surprised to find that the inside not only had a loft with a bed, but was actually three stories!
Sadly, this story ends the same way most things do in the UK – in bureaucratic quagmire. The local council found out about the house and told the farmer he needed planning permission for it. He didn’t cooperate and eventually gave up and moved to Scotland. Darmon and I are interested in finding the farmer at some point to ask him about this place but in the meantime the ruin still stands, for whatever reason. It’s a pretty amazing place and I hope it is still there because the council realise it has obvious cultural value. Cheers to Darmon and our two fellow trespassers for a great day out!