can be dated back to the 16th Century during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, where in a book published in 1596 it states:
"in some place the Shepherd hath his cabin going upon a wheele for to remove here and there at his pleasure".
This is probably the very first mention of a shepherds hut in the form that we currently recognise.
In more rugged terrain such as Scotland, Wales and Moreland areas of England, with boggy grounds or hilly areas the more permanent building, sometimes referred to as a 'lookers hut' was built to protect the shepherd from his sometimes bleak environment. Traditionally the Hut contained a small stove, a straw bed over a cage where lambs could be kept and a simple medicine cupboard containing various potions.
A shepherds hut was a big investment to a farm or Estate, costing the equivalent of up to 6 months of the Shepherd's salary. However it seems that ownership in most cases stayed with the Landowners rather than the Shepherd.
The First World War bought about changes in farming practices which led to the gradual decline of the shephed hut. A few huts carried on providing comfort and shelter to their Shepherd, but by around 1950, most were either pushed into a wood to provide somewhere for the gamekeeper to store his Pheasant feed, abandoned on the edge of a field or being broken up and burnt as they had became redundant.
Using traditional designs and techniques blended with cutting edge technology, Dorset Shepherd Huts aims to provide beautiful, quality huts for space-seekers, artists, likers of peace and quiet and shepherds alike. Contact us for more information or to view our huts.