Saturday, 4 January 2014

The ultimate getaway for Hobbit fans: Inside the Secret Holt alpine cottage with links to J.R.R Tolkien tucked away in Devon

Tiny Dartmoor cabin in Haytor Devon set among a Scots Pines forest

JRR Tolkien's family once lived in main house attached to two-bedroom let

Kitchenette made from ancient granite and Empire State Building's tiles

This pint-sized hideaway could be the ultimate holiday destination for any Lord of the Rings fans.

The tiny two-bedroom Secret Holt in Haytor, Devon, is set among a Scots Pines forest on land once owned by JRR Tolkien's family.

The family - thought to be on Tolkien's wife's side - once lived in the now owner's home, located just a few meters from the alpine cottage.



The now owner believes the legendary author visited the area when he was in his seventies when he and his wife Edith had moved to Bournemouth.

The cabin, featured on Unique Home Stays, is surrounded by streams and miles of moorland and rainbows and is perfect for outdoorsy types looking for the ultimate get-away.

The property is decorated throughout in a folksy-chic style with kitsch accessories.

The master king-size bedroom includes a sky light so holidaymakers can lay in bed and look up at the branches of the surrounding ancient trees.



The en suite bathroom has a double ended roll top bath and heated towel rails offering guests a cosy place to pamper.

There is also a four-poster double bedroom usually used as a dressing room - but could be used for a second bedroom for younger members of the family.

The kitchenette is made from an ancient piece of granite, and the cupboard doors are fronted with tin wall tiles from the Empire State Building.

The tiles were bought by the owner from a tile dealer in Devon who had purchased a large amount of them directly from the States.

The dealer claims the tiles had been taken off the building or were being kept as spares.

The tiles were then recycled into the unique cupboard fronts in the Secret Holt.

The cabin has a small but perfectly formed garden that sits above the cabin boasting views across the woodlands.



The cabin has a fire pit - perfect for enjoying as night falls in the woods armed with marshmallows for toasting.

The cottage is located in the eastern part of Dartmoor, just off the abandoned Templar Granite Tramway.

The tramway was built in 1820 to move granite from Devon to the Stover Canal, where it would then be transported elsewhere. Unusually, the track was formed of granite sections, shaped to guide the wheels of horse-drawn wagons.




It is also near to the entrance of a Magnetic Iron Ore Mine - that had been mined since the Bronze Age.

The cabin's owner said: 'Dartmoor is beautiful, even in rain the rainbows are magical. People come here to escape and recover in the romance and tranquility.

'It´s a joy to eat really well in all the local pubs. Guests feel they've been cradled in the top of the world and that’s part of the secret of the cabin.'


jrr-tolkienJohn Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, was an English author, poet and philologist.

His family and relatives lived in the main house up the lane from The Secret Holt.

He didn’t have many relatives as he was orphaned at 16 and only had one sibling.

The owners of the cottage say he visited the property towards the end of his life - when he and his wife Edith lived in Bournemouth.

He was a professor at Pembroke and Merton Colleges, Oxford from 1925 to 1959. He was a friend of C. S. Lewis as they were both members of the Inklings - a literary discussion group.

However, he is best known for his works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

While there were many fantasy authors before Tolkien, the success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings is often said to have created a bit of a come-back for the genre. Some even say the author was the 'father' of high fantasy.

Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

He died in 1973, aged 81, and is buried at Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford.

After his father's death, Tolkien's son Christopher published a number of works based on his father's extensive unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion.

These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings form a connected body of invented languages, tales, poems and literary essays about a world called Arda and Middle-earth.

In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. With Forbes ranking him the 5th top-earning dead person of note in 2009.


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