At the Fourpenny Workshop, there's nothing we like more than rescuing an abandoned, neglected or dilapidated Shepherd's Hut. It's hugely rewarding to transform a redundant hut back into into a Shepherd's Hut with a purpose.
One of our most recent Shepherd's Hut restoration projects has been a fairly straightforward, but thoroughly rewarding process. The Shepherd's Hut in question was a Lott & Walne Shepherd's Hut from the early 1900s, which would have originally been made in the agricultural engineer's Dorchester iron foundry. It had since found a home on an Isle of Wight Farm but had fallen into disrepair and been patched up with modern wheels, not in keeping with the original classic hut design.
The owners wanted to see their characterful Shepherd's Hut restored back to it's former functional glory, whilst maintaining its wonderful distressed finish and aged style, so that's what we promised. The restoration brief also included building a new bunk for the interior so the Shepherd's Hut could be used as a garden guest room for friends and the owners daughter to camp out in.
We headed across to the Island in the Spring sunshine and loaded the dilapidated hut onto the trailer, all ready for its revamp back at the Fourpenny Workshop.
The first task was to give the Shepherd's Hut a brand new pair of wheels and a sturdy new axel, which is something we're pretty well versed in. We design the wheels ourselves and they and the axel pins are made in the classic way by a south coast foundry. We always incorporate the original axel style too, complete with the all-important ability to rotate, so manoeuvrability is never a problem for Fourpenny Shepherd's Huts.
The leaky old Shepherd's Hut needed a brand new roof and a replacement side panel to make it weatherproof, so that's what we gave it next. As the owners were keen to keep its classic rustic charm, we left the side panel unpainted to weather and tarnish naturally and blend in with the rest of its funky vintage paint job.
Many of the original features and details of the Shepherd's Hut were still visible and functional, like the lovely door hinges and the makers plaque. We left these just as they were (bar a quick dust off). Inside, the original wooden panel work was as lovely as ever and the original wooden benches were a carpenter's dream, All we really needed to do was build a bespoke wooden bunk bed to sit under the window and make a handy stepladder for easy access. We used our expertise in Shepherd's Hut design history to make sure our new additions were right at home in this beautiful vintage Shepherd's Hut.
The finished, revamped Shepherd's Hut with its authentic wheels, new roof, new side panel and improved interior space was then ready for delivery via trailer, to its new home in a Hampshire country garden.
We were even able to trail it around the Fourpenny Workshop on the back of our Land Rover, because of its sturdy new axel.
The restored Shepherd's Hut will now make a brilliant playhouse, garden room, guest room and campsite for the owners and their family. It suits the garden space perfectly and it's fair to say that everyone's very pleased with the result, especially the Fourpenny Workshop team. This restoration project has been the perfect opportunity to make the most of the existing quirky charm and character of one of our favourite kinds of Shepherd's Hut and re-instate it as a fabulous family heirloom.
If you have an ancient Shepherd's Hut that's in need of some TLC or know about a hut which could benefit from a little bit of the Fourpenny Workshop treatment, why not get in touch? However dilapidated it is, we can restore it back to something splendid - and we love a challenge. Alternatively, if you like the idea of having your own newly fashioned Shepherd's Hut - just give us a call to discuss.