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Hobbit Holes by Wooden Wonders bring Tolkien architecture to life

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December 14, 2012

A multipurpose Hobbit Hole that can be used as a playhouse, or a storage shed for gardenin...

A multipurpose Hobbit Hole that can be used as a playhouse, or a storage shed for gardening tools and supplies (Photo: wooden-wonders.com)

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The Hobbit is a story that has endured for more than seven decades, with children and adults alike drawn into the fantasy realm created by J.R.R Tolkien. Thanks to Peter Jackson, who previously brought The Lord Of The Rings to the big screen, a whole new generation of fans is likely to be created. Reading the book and watching the movies is one thing, but having your own real-life Hobbit Hole in the back garden is quite another ... one that's now possible thanks to Wooden Wonders.

Wooden Wonders is a small family-run business located in the state of Maine. It designs and produces Hobbit Holes to suit a variety of needs. There are currently five product lines – playhouses, chicken coops, sheds, cottages, and saunas – but all follow the basic design of the houses Hobbits live in, according to Tolkien.

The company was founded in 2009, bringing its first prototype Hobbit Hole to the county fair in Unity, Maine. Since then, Wooden Wonders has sold around 70 of the structures. The playhouses and chicken coops can be crated up and shipped long distance, while the other three designs are delivered to their intended resting place and assembled by the company.

This Hobbit Hole serves as a utility shed (Photo: wooden-wonders.com)

Wooden Wonders will customize the design according to individual tastes, with different colors and/or materials, and extra features and functions available. Each model, no matter what its intended use, features a curved roof and round front door. While most of Wooden Wonders' Hobbit Holes are built above ground, they have built them underground as in Tolkien's vision of a race of little people residing under the earth. As with the specific design choice, it's up to the buyer whether they want to build above or below ground.

While the Hobbit Holes that Wooden Wonders currently sells are fairly small, Melissa Pillsbury, who runs the company alongside her husband Rocy, suggests that scaling up wouldn't be a problem. In fact, they would "jump at the chance to build a replica Bag End for someone." Not that a Hobbit Holes home would have to be huge to accommodate a family, with Melissa also noting that the design "lends itself very well to small square foot living" ... which fits in to the current trend for tiny living quarters we have seen with increasing regularity here on Gizmag.

The interior of this Hobbit Hole measures 4 feet by 8 feet (Photo: wooden-wonders.com)

Prices vary from US$995-and-up for a small chicken coop, to as much as $14,995 for the largest model of cottage. You could try to save a few bucks by making your own Hobbit-inspired home from scratch, although the process might be rather daunting.

With the first film of The Hobbit trilogy now having been released, interest in Hobbit Holes is likely to increase and stay high for an extended period of time – so Wooden Wonders may find itself busy for years to come.

Source: Wooden Wonders

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix.   All articles by Dave Parrack
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5 Comments

It misses the boat by a long way.

First, Hobbit homes are underground, in dirt mounds. Only the front has a wooden facade. Second, it's missing THE determining characteristic of a "Hobbit" habitat, as opposed to similar creatures: the door knob has to be in the CENTER of the door.

Obviously these people did not do their homework.

Anne Ominous
15th December, 2012 @ 03:32 pm PST

Gizmag covered a better and much more authentic version earlier:

http://www.gizmag.com/low-impact-hobbit-home/20058/

Facebook User
16th December, 2012 @ 05:16 pm PST

We never should have chased after the city model of living. The vast machines that build the value sets that have no real connection to the real value of living. Unobtrusive smaller communities would have enabled us to be a less destructive, even practically beneficial force in the environment. The whole contemporary concept of environmentalism has come from the idea of the city man going out and destroying the wilderness. Or the city man leaving everyone, the human rat race behind in the city and living a 'stone age' life. Neither is correct. These pictures are as unrepresentative of the aspirations of humanity as the city plan itself. We are supposed to be here. The ones who bought into the lets all huddle in one space and create these unnaturally high levels of demand for minerals and food and the equally unnatural lives and life demands, have passed on a thought box that even those who feel they are breaking out of it, are still influenced by. If we lived with a respect for each other as communities within the world family rather than wanting it all for ourselves, whether that's in terms of wealth or power, or for an 'utterly untouched by humanity' landscape of solitude that we can enjoy, perhaps the impact we would have on the world would reflect the beauty we yearn for through the things we would be inspired to do and to make. The whole reason people want to escape and find solitude is because of the city effect. The human versus human culture. What we do to each other, think about each other, how we treat each other, is the primary key to 'saving the planet'.

But this of course is all made impractical by one thing. Not the number of humans but the response to threat that is as much a part of natural living as rivers and trees and the fundamental structures we base everthing on because of it. It is not the mass, the numbers of humanity that ruins things but the way we perceive the need to survive that ultimately gives sanction to exploitative and damaging behaviour. The conclusion that man is the greatest evil on the planet is a comment on the humans who get to build the model, the dominant players in the survivors universe and the rulers in a world of threats. Until we no longer feel afraid of each other, until we no longer want to live dominated by an animal identity, until we can respect and care about each other regardless of all other things we will always be out of sequence with each other and the world we are the custodians of. It takes more than a Hobbit house to make a Hobbit world.

John Anima
17th December, 2012 @ 06:53 am PST

They said that they also build underground-

the cost determines the realism,

I'm sure.

Is it so hard to change the location of the knob?

It's always easier to be a critic...

than a performer.

There prices seem reasonable-

cheaper than those "Tiny Homes"

on trailers.

I'm sure that if they would do a replica Bag End it would have the attention to detail that a true enthusiast would expect.

Most people just want a facsimile-

they aren't serious enough to spend anymore than necessary.

Why do you think people whine about China

but keep on buying their junk?

As for me,

I'd be happy just to have a little log cabin in Maine-

Made in Maine.

Griffin
17th December, 2012 @ 11:21 am PST

The first photo gives the appearence that it is partly underground; at least from the standpoint that the photographer was at when taking the photo. The front does seem to be inspired by homes inhabited by Hobbits.

I believe they are called Hobbit holes since they are holes in the ground. Perhaps one could have it where one could pile dirt against some sides to give it an appearence of being underground? or at least make it an 'earthen house' or 'earthen shelter'?

I still think it is a really nice design. I will be checking out their site. It would be neat to have them build a true Hobbit house; one for bigger than Hobbit sized people. :)

BigGoofyGuy
27th December, 2012 @ 09:10 am PST
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