Follow the path around the millpond to the characterful and rustic John's Hut. Sitting in its own paddock by the millpond it is the larger of the two glamping accommodations (17x6ft), and comfortably equipped for a longer stay. A small double bed, tucked away at the end of the hut, has a supportive mattress and is dressed in a pretty pink cotton ticking with an all season hypoallergenic duvet made from 100% grade A long-fibre Mulberry silk. The blue Hungarian dresser is thoughtfully stocked with all you need; a trug of cutlery, crockery, glasses, utensils, kettle and toaster. A basket of wood is provided for the small Salamander stove that keeps your evenings toasty warm ... in the mornings throw open the stable door and watch the millpond's ducks. Later, sit at the pine table overlooking the chestnut tree with a pot of tea, a slice of homemade cake and a board game taken from the wooden box.
What else? There is a fire pit, with a tripod grill. Fire wood is provided. A Rocket stove is available to borrow, small pieces of wood have to be chopped and will be charged at £5 a bucket. Under the hut you will find a 'belly box' with rugs and blankets, as well as a selection of fireside cooking equipment. Why not enjoy sizzling some sausages and a glass of wine whilst chasing stars under our exceptionally dark night skies! Through the gate and under the trees by the millpond is a table and chairs as well as relaxing hammocks and in the summer an antique day bed. Less than two minutes from the hut, situated in the mill yard, is a bright and clean washroom with a flushing loo and hot shower solely for your use. Bath towels and linen are provided.
In the tack room is a 'kitchen' area with a small fridge, an electric hob and further cooking equipment should you choose not to cook over an open fire. There is also space for you to wash up.
why not cook BREAKFAST?
And eat like a king! If you have time, we can source a selection of local breakfast goodies for you to cook over the campfire. John's Hut has been thoughtfully equipped for self-catering and you will find all you need to prepare meals. Take a look at our Extras page to find out more ~ the cooked breakfast can be purchased when you book your stay.
We do provide a help-yourself breakfast for John's Hut and Miller's Hut guests to enjoy as part of your stay. A basket of breakfast supplies, including homemade bread, jams, muesli, yoghurt, fruit, milk and juice will be left in the tack room for you to prepare and enjoy at leisure. You will find cupboard essentials in John's Hut to get you going, including tea, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar, salt & pepper, cooking oil, pasta, porridge oats as well as marshmallows for the fire. (The hut is not connected to water, however there is a butt of water and all you need to wash up. There are also washing up facilities by the tack room. Fresh water comes out of the taps by the tack room for drinking and cooking.)
an INDUSTRIAL history.
A characterful period piece, John's Hut was painstakingly and correctly made by Eddie Butterfield at Heritage Shepherd's Huts. With a background in restoration and blacksmithing, Eddie custom made the hut based on a traditional living van and is 'worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the original makers'. Nestled close to the millpond, looking towards the island where ducks gather, come and discover the joys of glamping in pretty north Dorset.
Similar to shepherd's huts that could be moved around, living vans were specially designed for use with steam rollers, steam engines and ploughing engines. Living vans were wooden trailers towed behind for the crew to live in whilst working away from base. Engineers Bomford & Evershed, Ltd. noted that the vans not only saved crew trouble and expense of finding lodgings, which was better as they were apt to neglect themselves when fresh lodgings were hard to secure, but enabled small repairs to be carried out if the weather was too bad for the roller to be worked in. The vans usually had a bunk for two to five men, along with a cast iron stove and a small surface for work, food storage locker and detachable steps. A large number have been restored by engine owners to add to their engine especially if they transport them to shows such as the Great Dorset Steam Fair held locally near Blandford.
NB: John's Hut is thoughtfully orientated away from a pretty mill cottage situated nearby with handcrafted hurdles giving added privacy. Occasionally occupied, it is not a holiday let.