English Shepherd’s Huts

Old time shepherd’s huts aren’t really in the same class as vardos or showmen’s wagons as they aren’t really for long distance travel.  These great little portable homes are dragged around to new pastures and are ideal for guest houses, studios, and weekend homes.  These are generally simple affairs consisting of a room and a few built-ins.  The old models often included a lamb cage under the bed platform and little else.  As they don’t travel far they are often furnished with regular home furniture.

Several makers are still professionally building these.  Have a look at…


to see some contemporary work.

There is a lot of good history of the design at Historic Shepherd Huts.

One appealing part of the design is the practicality.  Many classic huts are covered in corrugated iron and painted making for easy upkeep against the changing weather.  A far cry from high maintenance varnished wood.

A good feature I have noticed is the nearly ubiquitous transom vent in the peak.  I have considered this myself as a matter of security on warm nights and am not surprised it was thought up long before me.

Above is a classic hut with lamb cage intact.  Apparently these were used for all sorts of storage when lambs weren’t penned inside.  The top of the rack held a mattress for the shepherd and the hut was generally fitted with a wood stove.

By far, the best examples I have found on the web are at Plankbridge Hutmakers.  Above is a typical exterior and below, an exquisite modern interior.

Have a gander at their site for a load of great images and information.