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 huts (17x6ft), and comfortably spacious 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 cotton ticking with an all season hypoallergenic duvet made from 100% grade A long-fibre Mulberry silk. The blue Hungarian dresser is thoughtfully stocked should you wish to stay cosy in the hut and make a cup a brew. 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, cake picked up from a rural farm shop and a board game taken from the wooden box.
What else? Hammocks are strung between the trees by the millpond and in the summer an old French day bed with its original mattress, rugs and cushions create the perfect retreat. Through the gate and under the trees you will also find a table and chairs. For evening warmth huddle around the fire pit and chase stars under our exceptionally dark nocturnal skies. There's a tripod grill and fire wood provided for each night of your stay, so why not enjoy sizzling some sausages with your glass of wine. Under the hut you will find a 'belly box' with space for storage. Not far from the hut is the field kitchen and in less than a minute, situated in the mill yard, is a bright and clean washroom with flushing loo and hot shower solely for your use. Bath towels and linen are provided.
We provide our hutters with a help-yourself breakfast to enjoy. A delicious breakfast basket of organic homemade bread, organic jam/marmalade, muesli, Greek yoghurt, stewed fruit (sometimes from our garden), ground Lavazza Oro coffee, milk and juice will be left in the field kitchen to enjoy at leisure. (Neither hut is connected to water, an 8L Kilner glass water dispenser is in the field kitchen and from a tap in the mill yard comes drinkable spring water. There are water bottles in the hut.)
Eat like a king! If you have time, we can source a selection of local breakfast goodies for you to cook over the campfire or in the field kitchen. A few strides from the hut, it has been thoughtfully equipped for preparing meals and has a table and chairs. Although power for a fridge and toaster (the hob is gas!), by night it is lit by twinkling fairy lights and candles. Take a look at our Additions page to find out more about booking the cooked breakfast.
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.
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.