Not just for shepherds, the cosy and homely Miller's Hut sleeps two. The B&B's comfortable bed is a small double dressed in William Morris's pretty Strawberry Thief design whilst 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. (The larger John's Hut is equipped for long stays.) You will find a flushing loo and hot shower in a bright washroom situated in the mill yard, a minute's walk away, and shared with other guests, with hairdryer and bath towels provided.
What else? The hut has electricity and there is a small heater and blankets to keep you toasty on colder evenings. There are outdoor chairs, rugs, cushions and lanterns so you can relax in comfort and enjoy your surroundings. Two buckets of fire wood are supplied for each night of your stay, additional buckets are available. Come, light a fire in the pit, sizzle some sausages on the tripod and grill and enjoy chasing stars under our exceptionally dark night skies.
BREAKFAST for TWO.
Watch the millpond's ducks whilst enjoying the leisurely breakfast, included in your stay, served under the willow tree just a few steps from Miller's Hut. Muesli, stewed fruits, yoghurt, juice, a variety of toasted artisan breads (using our stoneground flour), croissants, freshly brewed pots of coffee and tea are layed out for you. If it’s too cold or wet you are welcome to come into the main house and eat in the dining room.
A basic breakfast is provided for guests booking both huts together. A cool bag with supplies, including bread, jams, muesli, yoghurt, fruit and juice will be left on the fridge in the stable for you to prepare and enjoy at leisure. (The huts are not connected to water, however washing up facilities are found by the stable. Fresh water comes out of the taps there 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 the millpond.