New Shepherd’s Huts
Butterfield Shepherd’s Huts are made using the same traditional methods employed in the restoration process.
A Bespoke Service
As I offer a bespoke service the dimensions of the Shepherd’s Hut can be tailored to suit, as can the size and position of the windows etc. Choice of stove is up to you. There are two little stoves I make based on originals that fit in very nicely.
Alternatively, I often have a selection of period stoves to choose from. I can offer you a range of curtain poles in various designs and finishes. All the other little bits and pieces that finish the interior can be made accordingly.
Uniquely, I source timber locally from sustainable woodland and use historic methods and tools. The timber structure is typically Cedar, Larch or Douglas Fir. It is selected and cut, shaped and finished by me using my own sawmill to closely match the original 19th century profiles.
I do this to ensure the supply chain is genuine, as buying timber from a local sawmill does not always mean the timber is local. (i.e. Softwoods which may originate from the Baltics)
Wheels & Ironwork
Cast iron wheels are often original items, salvaged and restored to turn again, sometimes a full century after they left the original foundry. I can also have new items cast from original patterns, faithfully re-creating the original shape and finish.
All the iron fittings of my huts are created in-house, including forged axle fittings, drawbar bolts, roof-bars and all the small hooks, latches and brackets which are used to make my huts.
An Example of a Bespoke New Build
The One Hut Full Project
Paula Walton from the Dartmoor White Sheep Society is the driving force behind the project, and she works tirelessly to ensure it is the great success it has become from its launch at Exeter Cathedral.
The idea of the project is to showcase and highlight the need to ensure these old breeds of sheep are preserved for the next generation to enjoy. But it goes a great deal further than that to show how these hard-working communities are essential, not only to their own well-being but to sustain the fragile environment, particularly found on Dartmoor and beyond.
At the onset, it was crucial to the success of the project that a truly traditionally made shepherd’s hut was made by someone who shares the same values. It was a privilege to be asked to make such a hut and to work with Paula and Andy Visser. Andy was responsible for supplying and installing the truly amazing sound and visual content that is showcased inside the hut.
Andy’s company (Sound This Out) is used to stadium-sized projects working all over the world. I wasn’t sure how we would get on as we come from very different spheres of expertise. In the event, we worked very well together, and when you go and see the hut on tour, hopefully, you will see the quite remarkable end result. A lot of technology in a very small space.
Have a look at the website One Hut Full and pop along to have a look when it is on tour.
Interestingly I use worsted wool (which is untreated wool) in the wick oilers on my steam engine, so inadvertently, there is a dependence on sheep wool to enable me to cut the wood for the shepherd’s hut in the first place (local interdependence which is how it should be).
At the launch at Exeter Cathedral, I came out for some fresh air after listening to the bishops, mayors and various other dignitaries address and met a local farmer who had some sheep on display. I mentioned the necessity of his fleece to the production of the hut, and he said, I quote, ‘what an interesting analogy,’ and that made me smile as if I had said that to one of the old framers around here, the response would have been ‘ARRR’