Tiny Living in Creative Shepherd Huts

The clean lines and minimalist design of shepherd huts make them highly desirable as tiny homes. Although small in size, their open and spacious interior accommodates a variety of changing floor plans for multiple uses throughout the day. With plenty of windows and available wall space, there is plenty of natural light, and a feeling of openness to the world around you.

The shepherd's hut (or shepherd's wagon) was used in the 19th and 20th century by shepherds during sheep raising and lambing, primarily in the United Kingdom. Shepherd's huts often had iron wheels and corrugated iron tops. Sometimes the sides were also made of corrugated iron. The original shepherd's hut was a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, sitting room and storeroom all rolled into one. The designs varied slightly but all were constructed to provide the shepherd with practical and durable accommodation whilst tending his sheep. 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.

Use of shepherds huts by farmers reached a peak in the late 19th Century and dwindled in the 20th century with the advent of mechanised farm machinery and electric power reaching even remote farms. Their use persisted in some northern counties in the United Kingdom, particularly Westmoreland and Northumberland, where the terrain of the uplands supports little else but sheep farming.

There have been numerous different materials used to construct shepherd's huts and after World War One, 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. There are now very few examples of the later 20th century shepherd's huts in the county of Westmorland which became Cumbria in 1974.

Shepherds huts are still in use today, but primarily as an alternative to a summer house, shed or workshop.

Because of their practical and simple design, when properly constructed, shepherds huts can be very low maintenance. They typically have metal roof design, and some have metal siding as seen in the examples below. Because of their relatively light weight, one-level design, and low profile wheels, the shepherd hut can be transported using a standard vehicle trailer as shown below. The "Legacy" Hut is built on a fifth wheel running gear. This means that the back wheels are larger - 34" dia on straight axles but the front wheels are smaller - 24' dia, and are joined to a fifth wheel offering straight line rolling and turning . So, if you want to be able to move your hut between on-site locations, we would suggest you choose this option - from $34,950 for a 12 x 7 shepherd hut.

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