Not just for shepherds, the cosy and homely Miller's Hut sleeps two. The comfortable bed is a small double 'floating platform bed' with a supportive mattress, dressed in William Morris's pretty Strawberry Thief design. A cupboard with pretty ticking panelling and chair add charm. A few strides 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. Miller's Hut and John's Hut are available to book individually or together, but we will only allow one hut or both to be booked together.
What else? The hut has electricity and there is a small heater, hot water bottle 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. Come unfurl a picnic blanket on a warm night, or light a fire in the pit and sizzle some sausages on the tripod grill whilst chasing stars under our exceptionally dark night skies. Wood for the fire pit is supplied for your stay and additional wood is available for a small cost.
Prepare your breakfast in the rustic field kitchen a few strides from Miller's Hut. A delicious 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 for you. Alternatively, why not cook over the camp fire? If you have the time, we can organise a selection of locally sourced breakfast goodies to cook. The field kitchen has a table and chairs and is thoughtfully equipped for preparing meals with a gas hob and fridge. Take a look at our Additions page to find to out more about the cooked breakfast. (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 spring water. Water bottles are in the hut.)
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.