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The rustic charm of a shepherd's hut

PUBLISHED: 11:45 24 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:52 24 June 2015

Shepherds huts can be a retreat from busy urban living | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds Huts

Shepherds huts can be a retreat from busy urban living | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds Huts

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Cotswold Shepherds Huts explain a little about the history of the shepherd hut, once a common sight across rural Britain, and how it's making a come-back

A shepherd's hut can be a cosy space to relax in, day or night | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds HutsA shepherd's hut can be a cosy space to relax in, day or night | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds Huts

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the shepherd’s hut was introduced so that the shepherd could live on the fields for extended periods of time to look after his flock day and night. It was a haven of warmth and comparative comfort.

Such huts were widely used throughout England and Wales and followed a similar basic design with a curved corrugated iron roof and stable door, and small windows on each side so he could keep an eye on his flock. The interior was usually simply furnished and was warmed by a small cast iron stove.

Most huts were built by small agricultural engineering firms. Some huts were constructed on the farm out of locally sourced materials, but all were built using blacksmith-made forged components such as axles and drawbars. As farming methods changed over time, the shepherd’s hut gradually disappeared from the landscape, so those original, intact examples are rare to find.

In contemporary Britain, shepherd’s huts are now being used for a variety of purposes; as a lakeside retreat, a children’s den, as office space, an art studio, a shooting & fishing hut, a spare bedroom, a workshop, a summerhouse and so on.

Shepherds huts can be fitted with contemporary interiors | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds HutsShepherds huts can be fitted with contemporary interiors | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds Huts

There are many reasons why people are still choosing to buy shepherd’s huts, but it’s usually an emotional purchase; people fall in love with them and find them a calming place to be, to get away from the distractions of modern living. They also offer convenience; they can be moved from one place to another, and being on wheels means that under current legislation planning consent is not required.

Modern shepherds huts are often crafted using traditional materials and methods to reflect the style of a 19th century original hut, a look which lends itself to the landscape beautifully and can be used throughout the year. They can be embelished with mod-cons too, everything from a double bed to a stove and electrics. Situate a hut in a secluded spot in the garden, among woods or in fields and create the perfect space to get away from it all!

A shepherd's hut fits perfectly into the rural landscape | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds HutsA shepherd's hut fits perfectly into the rural landscape | Photo: Cotswolds Shepherds Huts

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Cotswold Shepherds Huts offer individual, sustainable and practical shepherds huts in various sizes from originals through to new builds. For more information, visit: www.cotswoldshepherdshuts.co.uk

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