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The History of Shepherd Huts

Shepherd huts (also known as keepers watch huts) have been used since the 15th century by shepherds during the lambing season. They were mainly built by the farm hands and towed into position by horse. They were primarily used in the north of England, particularly the Westmoreland and Northumberland where the landscape is only suitable for sheep farming. The popularity of these huts dwindled during the 20th century and most huts fell into disrepair.

There have been numerous different materials used to construct shepherd’s huts. They were mainly put together by the help of a local blacksmith and carpenter and were often very basic. After World War I, when metal was in short supply the chassis were often built with wood and the sides built with interlocking planks of larch or spruce. Sometimes the roof covering would be constructed from felt and tar and insulated with lambswool. Cast iron wheels were frequently recycled from other farm machinery.

The designs vary, but all were constructed to provide the shepherd with practical and durable accommodation. The old huts had a stove in one corner for warmth and cooking, and a window on each side so the shepherd could see the flock. A hinged stable door, which was always positioned away from the prevailing wind, enabled him to hear the flock, and strong axles with cast iron wheels were used to withstand the constant movement from field to field.

In recent years the popularity of shepherd’s huts has increased. With many people seeking luxury staycations. Glamping is the perfect blend of outdoor adventure and comfort. Luxury shepherd huts make for the perfect weekend surrounded by nature.