Joiner, 89, builds his own ‘Hobbit House’ despite never having seen Lord of the Rings


An 89-year-old joiner has built his own ‘Hobbit House’ – despite having never watched Lord of the Rings. 

Great-grandfather Stuart Grant, whose 90th birthday is tomorrow, moved into the 200-year-old cottage in Tomich, near Inverness, in 1984 while he was renovating a nearby house.

The property had no roof and no doors, but Mr Grant enjoyed doing DIY on the quirky outbuilding so much that he decided to make it his home.

Father-of-two Mr Grant has suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, for 46 years, so said he was working ‘in slow motion’ on the three-bedroom rustic property.

Great-grandad Stuart Grant (pictured), 89, moved into the cottage he bought as a wreck with no roof and no doors in 1984, while he was renovating a house

But he found it so satisfying doing DIY on the quirky outbuilding which dated back 200 years, that he decided to make it his home

But he found it so satisfying doing DIY on the quirky outbuilding which dated back 200 years, that he decided to make it his home

His house was featured in an article for a Belgium website in 2017, and he says he has been inundated with visitors.

Last year, a £4.5million home in Cheshire was put on the market with a cottage embodying every Lord of the Rings fan’s dream home. 

Mr Grant doesn’t have a mobile phone or use the internet and no longer drives due to his age, but he loves getting out and meeting people.

Mr Grant said: ‘I haven’t watched Lord of the Rings.

‘It’s just a coincidence that my front door is almost the same shape and same kind of wood, oak.

‘There are stained glass windows on each side of it.

Dad-of-two Stuart trained as a joiner but suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, for 46 years so said he worked 'in slow motion' on the three-bedroom rustic pad

Dad-of-two Stuart trained as a joiner but suffered from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, for 46 years so said he worked ‘in slow motion’ on the three-bedroom rustic pad

He has been inundated with visitors to his home in Tomich, near Inverness, after his house was posted on a French tourist board's recommendations for north Scotland

He has been inundated with visitors to his home in Tomich, near Inverness, after his house was posted on a French tourist board’s recommendations for north Scotland

He doesn't have a mobile phone or use the internet and no longer drives due to his age, but he loves getting out and meeting people

He doesn’t have a mobile phone or use the internet and no longer drives due to his age, but he loves getting out and meeting people

Stuart said: 'I haven't watched Lord of the Rings. It's just a coincidence that my front door is almost the same shape and same kind of wood, oak'

 Stuart said: ‘I haven’t watched Lord of the Rings. It’s just a coincidence that my front door is almost the same shape and same kind of wood, oak’

He added: 'There are stained glass windows on each side of it'

 He added: ‘There are stained glass windows on each side of it’

He said about not knowing The Lord of the Rings and about the history of the cottage: 'I didn't know about them and they didn't know about me. Before me there were cows, calves and chickens living in here, and a donkey. It was a shoemakers' cottage and a croft'

He said about not knowing The Lord of the Rings and about the history of the cottage: ‘I didn’t know about them and they didn’t know about me. Before me there were cows, calves and chickens living in here, and a donkey. It was a shoemakers’ cottage and a croft’

‘I didn’t know about them and they didn’t know about me.

‘Before me there were cows, calves and chickens living in here, and a donkey.

‘It was a shoemakers’ cottage and a croft.

‘There was no roof, just four walls which are 200 years old.

‘It is not a fancy house, it is made from other people’s left overs.

‘I was always a glutton for scenic beauty, beautiful houses, and thatched cottages in England.

‘This has a concrete roof but it looks like a thatched roof.’ 

The 89-year-old said: 'There was no roof, just four walls which are 200 years old. It is not a fancy house, it is made from other people's left overs'

The 89-year-old said: ‘There was no roof, just four walls which are 200 years old. It is not a fancy house, it is made from other people’s left overs’

He added: 'I was always a glutton for scenic beauty, beautiful houses, and thatched cottages in England. This has a concrete roof but it looks like a thatched roof'

He added: ‘I was always a glutton for scenic beauty, beautiful houses, and thatched cottages in England. This has a concrete roof but it looks like a thatched roof’

After starting work on it, Stuart then moved to Australia for a year. He first went to Australia in 1959 and got a job building houses

After starting work on it, Stuart then moved to Australia for a year. He first went to Australia in 1959 and got a job building houses 

He lived there for five years and returned to Scotland on a three-and-a-half month bus journey through Syria and India in 1964 with his wife Margaret, who was Australian. He went back in 1976 and returned to Scotland in 1984. He then went back to Australia for another year, and made a couple more short trips

He lived there for five years and returned to Scotland on a three-and-a-half month bus journey through Syria and India in 1964 with his wife Margaret, who was Australian. He went back in 1976 and returned to Scotland in 1984. He then went back to Australia for another year, and made a couple more short trips 

He had bought land and planned to renovate a larger house

He had bought land and planned to renovate a larger house

Stuart said: 'I moved in in 1984 but it wasn't done up, I was living with concrete mixers then went out to Australia for a year. I was just doing it in slow-motion'

Stuart said: ‘I moved in in 1984 but it wasn’t done up, I was living with concrete mixers then went out to Australia for a year. I was just doing it in slow-motion’

After starting work on it, Stuart then moved to Australia for a year.

He first went to Australia in 1959 and got a job building houses.

He lived there for five years and returned to Scotland on a three-and-a-half month bus journey through Syria and India in 1964 with his wife Margaret, who was Australian.

He went back in 1976 and returned to Scotland in 1984.

He then went back to Australia for another year, and made a couple more short trips.

He had bought land and planned to renovate a larger house.

Stuart said: ‘I moved in in 1984 but it wasn’t done up, I was living with concrete mixers then went out to Australia for a year.

‘I was just doing it in slow-motion.’

He said he put on a roof and doors, as before there were ony doorways and two windows. 

Initially, the cottage was only supposed to be Stuart’s temporary accommodation whie he was doing up the house.

He said he put on a roof and doors, as before there were ony doorways and two windows

He said he put on a roof and doors, as before there were ony doorways and two windows

Initially, the cottage was only supposed to be Stuart's temporary accommodation whie he was doing up the house

Initially, the cottage was only supposed to be Stuart’s temporary accommodation whie he was doing up the house

'I thought I would make it comfortable', he said

‘I thought I would make it comfortable’, he said

Stuart added: 'I was getting such a buzz out of doing it. I don't know how much it cost. I cut the wood myself from fallen trees and collected stones from the river for the stonework. I put the stairs in'

Stuart added: ‘I was getting such a buzz out of doing it. I don’t know how much it cost. I cut the wood myself from fallen trees and collected stones from the river for the stonework. I put the stairs in’

He said: 'It took quite a few years, I never counted it. I just enjoyed doing it so much. I got carried away'

He said: ‘It took quite a few years, I never counted it. I just enjoyed doing it so much. I got carried away’

He said that doing creative projects has kept him young

He said that doing creative projects has kept him young

Stuart said: 'I have just always been an inventor and a designer. People think I'm clever because I do original things, but they've not tried. I'll be 90 tomorrow but I feel like a teenager. Work is the greatest therapy'

Stuart said: ‘I have just always been an inventor and a designer. People think I’m clever because I do original things, but they’ve not tried. I’ll be 90 tomorrow but I feel like a teenager. Work is the greatest therapy’

‘I thought I would make it comfortable’, he said.

‘I was getting such a buzz out of doing it. I don’t know how much it cost.

‘I cut the wood myself from fallen trees and collected stones from the river for the stonework. I put the stairs in.

‘It took quite a few years, I never counted it. I just enjoyed doing it so much. I got carried away.’

He said that doing creative projects has kept him young.

Stuart said: ‘I have just always been an inventor and a designer.

‘My mum said ‘you’re always scribbling’ when I was a little boy.

‘People think I’m clever because I do original things, but they’ve not tried.

‘I’ll be 90 tomorrow but I feel like a teenager.

‘People can’t believe I’m 90. I’ve travelled the world, it is all just a great adventure.

‘I could start with a seed and end up with a house. Work is the greatest therapy.’

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