While we now commonly associate shepherd huts with glamping accommodation, or even as an alternative to a summer house, shed or workshop, they initially had much humbler beginnings.
In use from as early as the 15th century, shepherd huts were used predominantly as a means to raise sheep and lambs across the United Kingdom and France. Intended to provide shepherds with comfortable, yet highly practical accommodation, the huts included a kitchen, dining room, sitting room and storeroom. Older huts also featured a stove as means to provide both warmth and cooking facilities, with a window each side to allow an unrestricted view of the flock.
The shepherd hut also features a hinged stable door, which was positioned facing away from strong wind to ensure the shepherd’s hearing was not compromised. Comprising of iron wheels and corrugated iron tops, and strong axles with cast iron wheels, they were able to withstand travelling to and from various fields on a regular basis.
As a result of mechanised farm machinery and electric power becoming a standard feature in even the most remote farms, the use of shepherd huts peaked and decreased by the 20th century. However, the use of shepherd huts continued in northern counties in the United Kingdom, such as Westmoreland and Northumberland, where the terrain was particularly suited to sheep farming.
At New Forest Glamping, we’re proud to offer our visitors a unique camping experience, which harks back to this simpler, and more carefree, time.