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Carly O'brien
Written by Carly O'brien 15th January 2018

Dreaming of life Far from the Madding Crowd? A Shepherd’s Hut could be the answer.

A common sight in rural areas during the 1800s, traditional shepherd’s huts were small basic mobile homes for farmers and their sheepdogs out in the fields.  There were windows on each side and a hinged stable door so the shepherd could see his flock and could hear the bleating too. The huts were snug, many of them less than 6ft long and 4-5ft wide, and were just tall enough to stand up in. The interior was sparse, with just a small stove for warmth and a straw bed over a cage where orphaned lambs would sleep.

Fast forward to the modern day, you can now customise your shepherd’s hut to include everything from a double bed and fitted wardrobes to a wood burner and kitchenette. Equipped and decorated to a high specification, they can be a miniature version of your home or customised as a room for a particular function. The former Prime Minister David Cameron commissioned one for his Cotswold garden last year, intending to use it as a writing room. Red Sky Shepherd’s Huts in Frilford, Oxfordshire hand-crafted the £25,000 hut (pictured) which came with sheep’s wool insulation, a wood-burning stove and hardwood stable doors. The Cameron’s added a pull-out double sofa bed and have painted the hut in Farrow and Ball colours Clunch, Old White and Mouse’s Back.

Bespoke shepherd’s huts are big business. Classed as temporary structures due to their traditional cast-iron wheels they don’t need planning permission, making them a bureaucracy free space solution for modern living. Perhaps you’ve downsized but an extra room would be useful for when the grandchildren come to stay, or you have land and want to start a B&B business, or you’d just appreciate a quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, shepherd’s huts are worth considering. For a break from reality, close the door, picture yourself in Far from the Madding Crowd, and channel your inner shepherd.

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