One of the more unusual buildings in the UK is the Hobbit House otherwise known as Colin's Barn. While it is on private land and so not accessible to the general public, it is one of the most remarkable buildings that enterprising individuals have built in the quaint English countryside.

For those who have been to Vietnam, it may remind them of the famous 'crazy house' (also called the Hằng Nga guesthouse) in the city of Đà Lạt - one can actually stay there or have tours of it too. A particularly odd building in California is the Winchester Mystery House which was built for the souls of those slain by Winchester rifles.


The Pet Project of Sheep Farmer Colin Stokes

The story goes that a farmer called Colin Stokes wanted to build a barn so that he could store his hay and give his sheep a place to shelter. But the barn he ended up building looked like something that would be at home in Middle Earth or on the Shire than in real life. Stokes started building it in 1989 and used rocks and stones that he found around his property and cemented them together with concrete.

I didn't draw any plans before hand - it just grew organically. I took inspiration from buildings that I had seen during my life that looked like they were part of their surroundings. I like buildings to look like they belong.'Colin Stokes Reported By The Daily Mail

Today the barn is dubbed the Hobbit House and is a place many would like to visit to see the piece of art created from "getting a bit carried away." He drew inspiration from many buildings he had seen over the years. He started with a rather similar structure but soon got carried away and kept on embellishing his pet project.

  • 11 Years: The Period Of Time Stokes Spent Building It
  • Colin Stokes: A Local Sheep Farmer and Stained Glass Artist

When Collin Stokes moved away, he felt like he left something behind as it had been his project for 11 years. In 2013, it was reported that Collin Stokes (then aged 68) was farming sheep, poultry, and angora rabbits near Moffat in Scotland.

Related: New Zealand Is Reopening: Now Its Time To Visit Hobbiton

The Design of The Hobbit House

Stokes added turrets, dovecotes, and even stained-glass windows that he himself made. He built arches and a spiral staircase. Colin Stokes was quite the handyman building everything by hand without any blueprints or drawings before he started.

He expanded his project to not only house sheep, but also himself. He made a second floor with a room where he could live so that he could be with his sheep during lambing season. The barn has wooden doors and the upper floor is sparsely furnished. That being said he mostly lived in a nearby cottage.

  • Second Floor: Had A Bed So he Could Sheep There During Lambing Season

Colin Stokes doesn't call it the Hobbit House, instead, he just refers to his creation as his barn (he takes exception to people calling it the "Hobbit House"). The barn is not actually built into the side of the hill, although it looks at home on it.

It has been called the Hobbit House by the many photographers who sneak onto the property to see photograph it.

Related: Did Hobbits Exist? What To Know Of Visiting The Hobbit Cave

Visiting Colin's Barn Today

Today the building has been abandoned for over 20 years (since Colin Stokes moved away in 2000). The issue was the noisy marble quarry that opened up nearby - he actually moved away before it was fully complete. After that, he moved to a farm in Scotland. Despite being abandoned for 20 years it remains in very good condition - Colin Stokes is a skilled builder it would seem.

  • Location: Chedglow, England
  • Closed: Colin's Barn Is Closed to The Public

Today many birds have moved into the turrets and dovecotes (reportedly including owls). The precarious tower containing the dovecotes is one of the most dramatic features of the house.

The barn is located on private land and is difficult to find. There is a sign that discourages visitors (although many seem to ignore it). The owner of the nearby quarry is called Chris Capper who does not permit people to visit the barn.

Since 25 Feb 2021, it has been a Grade II listed heritage building in England.