Traditional English Shepherd Huts in the USA

shepherd hut

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!

exterior shepherd hut

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.

bed

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.

coach

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.

table

Continue reading

The Repaircave

Towards the end of the build I realised it needed to be a little more than just my personal hideout. I’m hoping to attract folks who will share the hideout with me, taking their broken stuff to fix, while making a fire inside or outside and having a tea or beer. I’ve added a website too, www.repaircave.com, inspired by the popular ‘Repair Cafes’ (where people go and repair broken things together). It’s in Dutch, but that’s much like English ;)

mobile workshop on the road

The site is about what’s happening in the Cave and through it I try to motivate people to repair and recycle and to use free stuff in a creative way. So far no one has come, but nevermind, it’s still my retreat too. And it’s still fresh, who knows what will come of it. Continue reading

Tiny House Blog Copy Editor

Many of you  have suffered with my not so great grammar and punctuation over the past four years and I apologize. I have a mild form of dyslexia and the English language was never a strong point for me during my education. I am happy to inform you that things are changing here at the Tiny House Blog with the addition of a copy editor.

Kasey March has joined Tiny House Blog as the copy editor. She graduated from the College of New Jersey with a BA in English and minors in Creative Writing and Women & Gender Studies. She recently began a trend spotting, decoration, & DIY blog Buttonwood Cottage (buttonwoodcottage.blogspot.com). By day, she is a college consultant in Pennsylvania where she helps juniors and seniors find schools that are the right fit. By night, she works on her plan to build a cob home that meets her tiny house needs. When not researching cob building, she is ignored by her cat, Calvin, and adored by her dog, Hobbs, who live with her in southern New Jersey.

Please join me and welcome Kasey to the Tiny House Blog team.