Not just for shepherds, our cosy and homely Miller's Hut sleeps two. The comfortable bed is a small double dressed in William Morris's pretty Strawberry Thief design. The little cupboard is stocked with wine glasses, plates, bowls, cutlery, mugs, a kettle, a selection of teas & coffee, a jar of marshmallows for the fire and a welcoming tin of homemade cake. (John's Hut is larger and equipped for long stays.) A flushing loo and hot shower are situated in a bright washroom in the mill yard, a minute's walk away, and shared with John's Hut guests. A hairdryer and big bath towels are provided. There is a small heater and blankets to keep you toasty on colder evenings, the hut has electricity. Why not light a fire in the fire pit, sizzle some sausages on the tripod and grill and chase stars under our exceptionally dark night skies (2 buckets of fire wood are supplied for each night of your stay, any additional wood is £5 a bucket). We have outdoor chairs, rugs, cushions and lanterns for your use, so you can relax in comfort and enjoy your surroundings.
BREAKFAST for TWO.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast served under the willow tree just a few steps from Miller's Hut whilst watching the ducks on the millpond. Breakfast is included in your stay. We lay out muesli, stewed fruits, yoghurt, juice, a variety of toasted artisan breads (using our stoneground flour), croissants, freshly brewed pots of coffee and tea. If it’s too cold or wet we’ll welcome you into the main house to eat in our dining room.
A basic breakfast is provided for guests who book both huts together. A cool bag with supplies, including bread, jams, muesli, yoghurt, fruit and juice will be left on the fridge in the tack room for you to prepare and enjoy at leisure! (The hut is not connected to water, however washing up facilities are found by the tack room. Fresh water comes out of the taps by the tack room and porch for drinking and cooking.)
the HUT'S rural history.
In the 19th century the only fertiliser available to farmers was manure. With many areas of their farms inaccessible to large manure wagons, farmers employed sheep to do the work! Known as 'the golden hoof', flocks of downland sheep were used to perform the task of fertilising hills and downlands. Kept tightly behind hurdles, a process called 'folding', the sheep grazed an area before being moved on. The manure left behind was ploughed in, thus returning nutrients to the ground. The shepherd would move on with his flock, sheepdog and mobile home, a shepherd's hut. Shepherd's huts, a familiar sight in rural England, would contain a small stove, a lamb rack which was a straw bed over a cage where lambs could be kept and a simple medicine cupboard containing various remedies used to help sickly lambs. Prior to 1829, shepherd's huts were made of weatherproofed timber until corrugated steel was introduced. The first world war brought changes to farming practices, as did the decline of the wool trade. By the second world war, shepherd's huts had become guard posts or accommodation for prisoners of war who were used as farm labourers. By the 1950s most were redundant, often used as storage by gamekeepers or abandoned in fields. Today they are enjoying a revival and here at Miller's Huts Dorset, the gentle charm of our shepherd's hut can be enjoyed in the glorious setting of our millpond.