Shepherd's Hut Restoration - A Step in the Past

If you read this blog, you'll know I have undertaken a bit of a "different" project since moving out of London.

I'm renovating a 19th century shepherd's hut back to its former glory, with a lot of passion to make-up for my lack of experience and with the support of Ryobi Power Tools (You can read the introduction to this project HERE).

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So far we've not been particularly lucky with our shepherd's hut restoration with the torrential rain and cold weather meaning... we're already running behind! But what building project is ever on time I ask?

First step was to empty the hut in order to see a little more clearly which had been used as storage in the seventies by my grand parents. We found many interesting bits and pieces including old photos, old chests full of treasures, tools and mysterious inscriptions on the walls.

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As a photographer I was a little confused as to why old photos would be stored in a place where eventually time and excessive moisture would take their toll. One of my projects will be to restore the photos and possibly colourize them and then have them framed and placed back in the hut once completed.

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Same goes for the many pieces of cutlery and crockery we found, I intend to salvage as many as possible and place in the hut when redecorating it.

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We were warned to ensure we looked at the walls within the hut for inscriptions, often would the shepherds who'd use such huts keep tallies on the walls. We indeed found inscriptions, one of which was particularly touching, a love message of sorts.

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We also found marks on the walls carved by the shepherd's tools swinging against it during transport.

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Suddenly it's past becomes less obscure and starts speaking to us.

Now empty, it's time to get on with the job.

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I'm taking as many photos as I can to ensure I'm able to put it back together as faithfully as possible once each part has either been restored or replaced by a new one.

It's a big project and I already at times feel I may have had a moment of madness taking this on, but I also feel a duty to preserve this piece of Dorset history which crosses over the boundaries between classic vehicle and historic building.

Now what? Well time to get the angle grinder out I say!

Nico