The history of shepherd’s huts goes back to the early 19th Century when sheep were an important animal on any farm in Sussex, providing milk, wool and meat for the community. Many farms in the hills and downland of southern England had to rely on natural fertilizers to grow crops in the light chalky soil.
Downland sheep were used, and would typically be kept in tight herds and given a small area to graze, the manure produced would then be ploughed into the land acting as a natural fertilizer allowing many different crops to be grown. The shepherd would stay with his flock in a shepherds hut. This would be home for months at a time especially in the lambing season.
His shepherd’s hut would have been fairly basic inside, comprising a small bed, a stove for cooking, some simple storage and appropriate medicines were all that were necessary. It would have traditionally had a window on both sides and a stable door so he could keep a close eye on his flock.
Today modern farming rely on machinery to do the job of the shepherd and his flock, and sheep are brought into lambing sheds in spring, therefore eradicating the use for the shepherd’s hut.
Shepherd’s Huts Today
Although shepherd’s huts are not often used by shepherds nowadays, they have become very popular as an extra space to work from as an office, occasional guest room, therapy room, holiday let, or simply a quiet place to relax, enjoy a book, and escape from the rest of the world.
With the wide range of specifications available, from kitchens and bathrooms, to log burners and unique storage solutions, the potential uses for shepherd’s hut are endless. At Sussex Huts we work with you to design your bespoke lay out, providing plans and drawings as part of the initial consultation process, ensuring that your vision for your shepherd is transformed into reality by our skilled and experienced craftsmen. For more information on all aspects of our huts and the ordering process please visit our FAQs page.