Unique “Hobbit” houses located inside rocky mountains in England.TranYen

Those who have watched the movies “Hobbit” or “Lord of the Rings” must have been impressed by the small underground houses of the Hobbits .

Even in the present world , there are also beautiful houses like that in England , except that these houses are not underground but in the mountains, carved by the locals into extremely beautiful and cozy stone houses. Currently, these houses are an interesting destination for British tourists from all over the world.

Unique Hobbit houses located inside rocky mountains in England - Photo 1

A stone house in the town of Kinver in England

In 1777, Joseph Heely published a guide to three West Midland gardens with the very lengthy title – Letters on the Beauties of Hagley, Envil and The Leasowes. In the book, Healey describes an incident where he was walking along a cliff when he was caught in a storm. Healey sought shelter and noticed smoke rising from a crack in the rock. He hurried towards the smoke and was surprised to see several houses carved into the cliffs. Healey was warmly welcomed into one of the houses which he described as “curious, warm and generous”. The people who built these unique houses were quite proud of their houses and were happy to explain to Healey how they had worked hard to build them.

Unique Hobbit houses located inside rocky mountains in England - Photo 2

The rock in Kinver has a very special structure, is easy to carve, so it is possible to make houses nestled in the mountains.

More than a century later, these houses would inspire JRR Tolkien to write one of his most beloved and enjoyable stories – The Hobbits.

Most houses had just two rooms – a living room and a bedroom, with a storage room at the back. Each room had a brick fireplace, with a chimney slanted to direct the smoke towards the outside wall. The houses even had electricity, gas and running water.

Unique Hobbit houses located inside rocky mountains in England - Photo 3

The houses also have chimneys built to heat them in the winter.

No one knows exactly when the first cave dwellings were carved here. However, based on the dates of similar rock chambers in the neighbouring county of Shropshire, it is believed that the rock dwellings at Kinver Edge were created as early as 700 AD.

After the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century, Kinver began to develop as a farming town and was located on the main route from Bristol to Chester. By the mid-17th century, some locals were quarrying stone from the nearby cliffs. This is when the first stone houses began to appear, possibly the first inhabitants of these stone houses were descendants of the stonemasons. A survey carried out in 1830 found six families living in these unique houses, up from 11 families before.

Unique Hobbit houses located inside rocky mountains in England - Photo 4

However, the area of ​​the houses is often quite limited, only able to accommodate a few people including 1 living room and 1 bedroom.

In the early 1930s, while Tolkien was still studying at Pembroke College, Oxford, he wrote the first line in one of his books:

“In a cave in the ground there lived a Hobbit.”

There are many similarities between the 18th century cave dwellings and Tolkien’s descriptions of Hobbit dwellings. On the opening page of the book, Tolkien describes Bilbo’s house:

“The door opened into a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with tiled and carpeted walls and floors, furnished with polished chairs, and plenty of pegs for hats and coats.”

…which was not so different from what Healey must have seen when he took shelter in a stone house during a thunderstorm.

Unique Hobbit houses located inside rocky mountains in England - Photo 5

The unique architecture of the houses makes many tourists flock here to admire and visit.

Several stories and legends surrounding the stone house in Kinver seem to have been adapted into Tolkien’s novels. One story is that when a fierce war broke out between the Kinver giants (who lived in the hills) and the Enville giants, the Enville giant was driven out of Kinver. As a reminder to never return, the Kinver giant threw a large rock after him as he approached the village of Compton. Another version of the legend is that the Enville giant was struck by lightning in broad daylight and turned to stone. There are unmistakable parallels to these stories in Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit. In chapter II, Roast Mutton, Bilbo Baggins and his friends trick the giants until morning when the sunlight turns them to stone. Later in the story they have to hide in a cave during a storm to avoid the rocks being thrown by the mountain giants.

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The houses were abandoned for a long time until they were renovated to serve tourist purposes.

While Tolkien never revealed the names of the places that inspired his stories, he did admit that many of them were based on his experiences in the Midlands of England, where he lived as a young man. Kinver is about 20 miles from where Tolkien lived, so it is possible that Tolkien discovered the place – he loved nature and enjoyed exploring the countryside and wilderness and incorporating it into his novels. Tolkien may have visited the stone houses of Kinver or read about them.

Unique Hobbit houses located inside rocky mountains in England - Photo 7

The interior of the houses is relatively compact and simple to suit the space of the house.

The last families to live in the stone houses moved out in the 1960s. Vandals then took anything of value, including the wooden doors and window frames. In the 1990s, the site was restored to its original condition by the National Trust. Today, the stone houses are a popular tourist attraction.

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