Plain Huts Shepherd Huts

These delightful shepherd huts are already making a splash in the United Kingdom with articles in several magazines, but Plain Huts could also be a wonderful addition to the tiny house communities here in the States. If you have the desire (and funds), these modern takes on the Shepherd’s Hut can become your own tiny house on custom wheels.

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Plain Huts Shepherd Huts are a family run business in Wiltshire on Salisbury Plain in southern England (10 minutes from Stonehenge). Cath Caesar, her husband Ian, their children and even Cath’s sister run the design and construction business of the huts. The huts are simple yet sturdy, fully insulated and utilize the cast iron wheels of traditional shepherd huts. Cath and crew have designed the wheels specifically for the huts and they can’t be purchased anywhere else.

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The Plain Huts, built on an oak and steel chassis, are available as a flexible space to be used as a tiny house, guesthouse, meditation studio, office or workspace. Features include double glazed windows, a covered deck with stairs, redwood or metal siding, a wood stove, and space for a bed and even a small kitchen or bathroom.

Several designs are available including the 124 square foot Romney for £13,500 ($21,200), the 112 square foot Jacob for £11,900 ($18,700), and the 75 square foot Manx for £11,900 ($18,700). Plain Huts can be delivered fully built within England, but if you are keen on building your own, a flat pack version is available. The rolling chassis comes with four insulated walls ready to erect. Doors and windows can be installed later. The Delux Flat Pack Shepherd’s Hut Kit is £6,500 ($10,225) and includes full insulation and Western Red Cedar siding. You can also get the basic kit without insulation for £3,800 ($5,977). The company is willing to ship the kits to the U.S. if the buyer organizes the shipping logistics.

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Photos courtesy of Plain Huts and Jo Povoas

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Traditional English Shepherd Huts in the USA

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We have been following your blogs for some time now and love seeing everyones creations and informative “how to” articles. There are no limits to the imagination when it comes to tiny houses. We noticed that from time to time you feature Shepherd Huts from the UK! I am English and live in Northern Michigan.

My husband and I loved Shepherd Huts so much we decided to set up our own business hand building them staying as true to the original design as far as possible including importing the cast iron wheels from a forge in England. Having spent many years renovating and restoring older homes its exciting for us to build something new, with the same construction principles but on such a small scale. We hope you like what we have designed and built and will share it with your readers!

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The Shepherd’s Hut has been around for a long time dating back as early as the 1600’s from what records tell us. In Thomas Hardy’s “Far from the Madding Crowd” where Gabriel sat and tended his lamb in front of a warm stove, these huts evoke thoughts and memories of another era.

Their charm lies in their simplicity and portability! Originally starting in the 1600’s all the way through to the 1970’s they were designed as shelter for Shepherds while they tended their flocks especially during lambing season, often far from home. The hut combined, cooking area, sleeping quarters, sitting area, stove for heat and storeroom for supplies all rolled into one. Windows were on all sides of the hut so that the Shepherd could keep a watchful eye on his flock. A hinged stable door, which was always positioned away from the prevailing wind, enabled him to hear the sheep. Strong axles with cast iron wheels were used to withstand the motion whilst being towed by horse and later tractor from field to field.

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Over the past few years Shepherds Huts have had quite a revival. There are over twenty independent craftsman companies in England, Australia & Canada restoring or reproducing this wonderful piece of English Heritage enabling many to enjoy the taste of this English rural idyll.

The remerging popularity as a delightful retreat has grown enormously, the ultimate mobile home for charm and character. Finding their way into people’s back yards, country estates, vineyards and campsites, the Shepherds hut is very versatile. Guest room, home office, den, teenage hangout, summer house, pool house, music room, artist studio, suana…. the list of uses are endless not forgetting that bathrooms, kitchens, wiring, bunk beds, sofa beds, cabinetry, lighting & heating can all be added.

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There is also the commercial aspect. These make ideal units to rent out as mini vacation homes. Glamorous camping aka “glamping” offers people all the home comforts whilst still retaining the feeling of being in a romantic, get away from it all stresses of everyday life haven in a beautiful setting, maybe by a lake or on farm land or camp ground.

Owners of the Pixie Palace Hut Co. Rebecca & Larry Cameron have recently opened their business making these wonderful huts here in America in beautiful Northern Michigan. Years of painstaking research including several trips “across the pond” to meet with shepherd hut craftsman and visiting blacksmith’s forges, has gone into every aspect of the design and materials used to ensure maximum efficiency, beautiful esthetics and outstanding durability whilst remaining faithful to the classic proportions, taking pride in creating a bespoke and unique piece of art that will stand the test of time.

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Instructables Vardo

For anyone dreaming of their own vardo wagon to sleep in or rent out, this sweet, little red wagon was built by J.M. Labrosse and featured by Instructables. J.M.’s step-by-step guide breaks this project down into manageable parts and a PDF of the project can be downloaded from the Instructables website.

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The insulated vardo features a classic shape with a Dutch door, stained glass windows, decorative trim and an unusually shaped deck. It contains a full bed with storage underneath, bench seating, a heater and a fan as well as 110 power and plugs. The 4×8 foot vardo was built on a 48×96 inch Harbor Freight trailer with a 1,720 lb load capacity. The trailer weighs under 1,200 lbs and was framed with both 2×4 inch and 2×2 inch boards.

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The wagon is currently available as an Airbnb rental in Seattle, Washington along with an additional vardo J.M. built.

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Photos by J.M. Labrosse

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]