It was not beyond the skills of the local Blacksmith, Carpenter or even Undertaker to build a hut or two.
The following huts were all seen on a single day within a 20 mile radius whilst on a ‘Hut hunt’ with retired Shepherd and Shepherds hut Guru, Gerald Beavis in 2005. The sheer diversity of style, size and design of these lovely old beasts never fails to impress me. Away from the big commercial builders of Norfolk, there prospered a DIY market for huts to feed the demands of massive Estate flocks. Indeed many Farms in this region had not one, but at least 3 Shepherds huts (and associated Shepherds of course). The commercial value of these flocks cannot be understated, especially with the massive migration of the countries population away from the land and into the industrialized heartland where the Victorian industrial revolution at its peak. This population had to be fed and clothed and good railway links provided the means to transport goods from all over the country to meet the demand.
This lovely old hut sat for some time on a fruit farm selling ‘pick you own plums’ between Burnham Market and Holkham in North Norfolk. Fixed wooden axles with small wheels probably means she is really old in the tooth. In desperate need for TLC, she disappeared a few months after I first saw her. I have been advised she appeared on e-bay and now resides in Cheshire. As with all Huts on this site, if you can ‘shed’ any light on her past (or present state) please contact us.
A plaque on the axle of this hut states TF Ringer Summerfield 1898. Summerfield is possibly best described as a small hamlet near Docking in North Norfolk. Checking the 1883 Kelly’s directory for the region, Thomas Frederick Ringer is described as a Farmer at Summerfield and Hall Farms.To say the height of this hut is unusual is an understatement. This is caused by the use of large cast Iron wheels on both axles, hence the height of the chassis has been pushed up to accommodate the wheels on the turning axle passing under the longitudinal chassis members How on earth this beast handles with such a high centre of gravity is probably best known to the poor old Shepherd who’s Horse used to pull this hut around. The hut now sits restored on the lawn of a large Norfolk house, adjacent to the farm where 3 huts once stood together beside the farmhouse. All of three big huts once stood beside the North Norfolk coast road. A three survive with two still on the farm – Hot News- This stunning Hut has just been offered for sale to Historic Shepherd Hut Web site viewers see Huts for rehoming
After seeking permission from the ‘Big house’, Gerald Beavis renews an acquaintance with one of the three huts that had shared a small corner of North Norfolk besides the famous Coast road. A well made farm cart type chassis can be seen where the original horse shafts would have been attached. The medicine cabinet is still inside the hut which awaits its turn to be restored, albeit without the company of its two former friends.