This place is a hovel. No, really. Originally this meant a medieval one-room dwelling, with a central fire, made by an agricultural labourer using whatever natural materials came to hand.
Most hovels were cleared in Tudor and Elizabethan times, and the few that survived were modernised beyond recognition. This one came within the Manor of Ludgershall, in Buckinghamshire, owned by Geoffrey, Bishop of Coutances, a trusted friend of William the Conqueror.
The Hovel has windows that peek out under the fringe of a deep thatched roof of combed wheat reed. It stands on the edge of the village green, and is reached by a small bridge over the brook.
The sitting-room ceiling is supported by branches of oak; billowing plaster, daubed on a mattress of twisted twigs, follows their bends and curves to a maximum height of 6ft 2in, and the walls wave in and out most charmingly.
The brick fireplace houses a contemporary wood-burning stove, behind which is now the second bedroom. Opposite is the galley kitchen, with a slate worktop and Belfast sink. The main bedroom and bathroom are an addition, the latter having a cast-iron roll-top bath and a chequerboard marble floor.
The half-acre garden needs attention, but the owners until 2002 were keen plantsmen, and topiaried box hedging, weeping pear, copper plum, apple and cherry trees, and wisteria can still be found, along with roses round the door. A bay-fronted, timber summerhouse under a cedar-shingled roof, with power and light, can also be found. Perfect for guests, writers - and other hobbits.
The Hovel in Ludgershall, Bucks, is for sale at £375,000 ($655,000) through John D Wood (01865 311522, e-mail: oxford@johndwo