August 1, 2016 Comments(0)

    The Shepherd’s Hut – Getting Reacquainted with Our Natural Surroundings

    There are many examples of tiny houses in the UK if you just look around a bit. They are a part of the history and tradition of this picturesque country, and represent a simpler lifestyle enjoyed by our ancestors. They exist in the form of gatehouses, gardener’s cottages, tiny cob houses and shepherd’s huts. All were at one time, very much a dominant part of the landscape.

    A summer gathering with a Blackdown shepherd's Hut.
    A summer gathering with a Blackdown Shepherd Hut.

    There has been much written lately about a return to nature and its benefits. Perhaps no style of housing offered a stronger connection to nature than the shepherd’s hut. These tiny structures allowed the shepherds of the 19th and early 20th  centuries to be close to the land and close to their flock. Their unobtrusive presence seemed to blend seamlessly with the land itself, and when the flock moved on – so did the shepherd with his dwelling.

    A Blackdown Shepherd Hut at home amongst the wildflowers.
    A Blackdown Shepherd Hut at home amongst the wildflowers.

    There are many companies which build shepherd huts in the UK today. Blackdown Shepherd Huts is a standout however, building lovely bespoke huts with sustainable products wherever possible.

    The company was begun by two cousins, William Vickery, a young man who had a passion for carpentry and George Bannister, who possessed a talent for working with wood. They are both still a part of the daily operations of Blackdown and are very much hands-on in the creation of the huts. But now they are assisted by an entire team who work together to make dreams come true.

    The process of building begins with rough sawn oak that is sanded to a smooth finish and then coated with Danish oil. The structure is fitted to an oak and metal chassis which serves as a strong foundation for the hut. As the walls and roof take shape, they are covered with a waterproof membrane to protect it from the elements, which still allows for air flow.

    With a nod to the past; the walls, floor and ceiling are insulated with sheep’s wool which is both environmentally friendly and safe for people and pets. Finally, a barge board and fasia is then fitted all around the hut, giving it an attractive finish.

    A fully fitted kitchen by Blackdown.
    A fully fitted kitchen by Blackdown.

    The huts can be fitted with kitchens, beds, baths and electricity. They can be ordered completely finished.  However, if you’re looking for a money saving option, you can order a kit and construct the hut yourself! They provide guidance along the way with a video, and are available by phone to help you through any difficulties you might encounter.

     

    Making efficient use of space.
    Making efficient use of space.
    A view into the bath.
    A view into the bath.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Regardless who builds your shepherd’s hut, it’s worth a visit to the site to view their list of

    “Questions to Ask When Looking to Purchase a Shepherd’s Hut.” This will give you thought-provoking questions that  help ensure you get the right builder for the particular hut you have in mind.

    Though the building of shepherd’s huts are a fairly recent trend, these small dwellings have their roots in the history of this island, and it’s difficult to look at one without imagining a lone shepherd, living in harmony with his flock and the land.

    The Blackdown team with Ronnie B., a Rhodesian Ridgeback, charged with quality control for all snacks consumed on the premises.
    The Blackdown team with Ronnie B., a Rhodesian Ridgeback, charged with quality control for all snacks consumed on the premises.