It was a fantasy land that was always meant to represent the best of the British countryside.
Now the hobbits have long gone. But the New Zealand film set that represented the Shire in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has been recolonised - by sheep.
Wandering at will in and out of the 17 holes that dot the hillside that represented Hobbiton in Peter Jackon's film version of the trilogy, the 12,000 new residents appear perfectly at home.
Welcome to my humble abode: A sheep stands in the doorway to one of the houses on the former film set
Home, precious, home: These two sheep stand on the roof of one of the hobbit holes
That is despite the interior of the hobbit houses being empty shells - all the interior scenes in the films were shot elsewhere.
The peaceful hills were originally meant to be turned into a hobbit-themed park in a bid to attract visitors to the town of Matamata on New Zealand's North Island.
But those plans were shelved, and the set became instead home to sheep and cattle.
What Bilbo, Frodo and Samwise might have made of their new neighbours remains unknown.
Woolly Shirelings: The farmland at Matamata, New Zealand, is now home to thousands of sheep and cattle
The original: How the intricate set of the Lord of the Rings films looked during filming in 1999
Read more: Sheep have taken over the Shire! New inhabitants of discarded New Zealand film set who are even hairier than hobbits | Mail Online