Building ‘Hobbit Holes’ Was The Secret of Our Success!
High Life Treehouses have been in business for a decade. They have built some fantastic treehouses over the years, but rather strangely, it was a request to build a ‘Hobbit Hole’ in a certain someone’s garden that started it all off.
Ten years ago Henry Durham was working for a treehouse company that was based in Scotland. The company received a request for a survey from a ‘Mr Ross’, who lived in Hampstead. Henry was sent to do the survey as he lived locally.
On entering the house, the full size Indiana Jones and the bright pink kitchen were a bit of a shock, but all seemed to fit into place when Henry realised the house belonged to Jonathan Ross. The survey went well – they laughed and joked as they discussed a small play house for the children, and then Mr Ross said ‘…and over here, do you think you could build me a Hobbit Hole?’ Henry replied ‘No problem’, having no idea how on earth such a thing could be done.
A few days later, sadly the Scottish treehouse company went into liquidation. The now jobless Henry had got on very well with the celebrity with his warm nature, and highly amusing chat, and so felt that it was worth contacting him again to see if he could build the ‘Hobbit Hole’ for Jonathan. The gamble paid off. A few days later Mr Ross called and said ‘When can you start?’
Having agreed on the aesthetics (and rounded up a few friends to help), Henry sat around scratching his head, wondering how to actually build a ‘Hobbit Hole‘. To his knowledge no one had built one before (excluding film sets in New Zealand), and especially not in a celebrity’s back garden. On top of that, Jonathan Ross’s family were to have no idea that they were recreating The Shire, and so the work was to be a secret.
Large concrete tubes were considered for the construction, but soon rejected as the use of a huge crane (in the middle of Hampstead) to hoist them over the multi million pound house was too scary. The team decided to painstakingly bend, glue and nail small strips of wood into arch shapes, and then screw layers of marine plywood down onto them to form the required shape. From the inside it resembled an up turned boat. Cedar shingles on the roof, a small (fake) chimney and round doors and windows completed the look. The earth was carted in by wheel barrow, lush turf laid over the top and plants appropriately arranged.
It was a wonderful surprise for the family, and was well worth the effort.
Ten years on, and High Life Treehouses are still building them. They make the perfect play house for small (and big) kids, and are an outstanding addition to any garden. Each ‘Hobbit Hole’ can be personalized in many ways – fairy tale furniture, a choice of colours inside and out – or perhaps even a landscaped front garden!
They are priced at £8,200 + VAT and they do not need planning permission.
Henry says “The new Hobbit films have made them incredibly popular over the last year, and especially, it seems, in Primary schools and Children’s Centres.”
But it was all thanks to the imaginative mind of a great dad that started it all off. Jonathan Ross – the team at High Life Treehouses salute you!