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!
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.
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.
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.
Larry builds the huts to the highest specifications using time-honored skills in his rural workshop in Northern Michigan. Contrary to the modern trend of modular built structures he is proud of the time that is involved in producing each individual hut to your specifications. Another important factor is sourcing materials for the shepherd hut from local vendors and artisans including using a small local metal fabricating company to build the running frame, a beautiful piece of engineering in itself!
A shepherd hut is for everyone who wants to get far from the madding crowd!