Many hobbit holes are fun but modest dwellings, with low ceilings and relatively cramped and dark rooms. This example in Huddersfield, England, will appeal to The Lord of the Rings fans looking for a little more luxury. Built by a proponent of earth sheltered construction back in 1975, it boasts four bedrooms and a large recreational area that includes a swimming pool.
The aptly-named Underhill is located on an attractive plot in northern England that measures just under an acre (0.4 hectare). It's part-buried into a hill using earth sheltered construction – that is, using the earth itself as a thermal mass to help maintain a steady temperature.
Indeed, the owner and designer of Underhill is architect Arthur Quarmby, president of the British Earth Sheltering Association, and it has served as Quarmby's own family home for the last 41 years.
The modest sliding circular door set into the hillside offers little clue of the expansive 4,000 sq ft (371 sq m) luxury home within. The interior layout is arranged around a family recreation area with stone arches and a heated indoor swimming pool.
Elsewhere, Underhill includes four bedrooms, a kitchen, music room, study, dining room, workshop, and a stone vaulted cave with a peat fireplace. Large glazed doors offer choice views of the nearby Pennine Hills.
Unlike most hobbit home-style dwellings, the interior is bright and airy thanks to large roof lights installed throughout.
Alas, if you fancy making Underhill your own little slice of The Shire, you'll probably need to follow Bilbo Baggins' lead and steal a dragon's stash of gold. The home is currently on the market for a cool £700,000 (roughly US$918,400).
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