Sleep Like a Celtic Chief in a Replica Iron Age Roundhouse

Bodrifty Roundhouse
Bodrifty Roundhouse / Bodrifty Roundhouse

Most English farmhouses have a woodshed or barn in the backyard—not a hand-hewn replica of a Celtic chieftain’s roundhouse.

In 1976, a farmer named Fred Mustill purchased a 100-acre plot of land in Cornwall, England. The property stood adjacent to the ruins of a well-preserved Iron Age village named Bodrifty, and the ancient structures inspired Mustill, who dabbled in architecture, to someday construct a replica of the settlement’s largest residence.

Twenty-three years later, Mustill received a small grant to make the project a reality. He built the house’s round walls from several tons of granite rocks, which he hauled from neighboring fields. He thatched together a peaked roof from cut reeds, and lashed together swaths of timber to form the structure’s rafters—no nails necessary. The final result—a living history building that gives tourists, students, and history buffs alike a peek into their Celtic ancestors’ past—was transformed into a private hotel room for two in 2011.

The house is decorated with painted wall motifs and Iron Age-style ceramics, and its earthen floors are covered with woven rugs. A fire pit sits in the middle of the room, filling the air with wood smoke. Still, Mustill made one concession toward modernity: the one-room building holds a large canopy bed.

Guests can rent the room for £200 a night from May through October. During the day, they can explore both Bodrifty and the surrounding moors, which are scattered with relics from the Iron Age like dilapidated stone houses, crumbling fences, tombs, and shards of pottery.

Can’t book a trip to England? You can still check out the soon-to-be-released book Cabin Porn, which features the Bodrifty Roundhouse, or look at the pictures below.

All images via Bodrifty Roundhouse