Restoration of the Venison Hut
The Venison Hut, located in the South meadow of Halswell Park between the house and Robin Hood’s Hut on the crest of the hill, had all but disappeared completely by 2010. All that remained was a broken up flagstone and red brick floor and a pile of rotted eighteenth century timbers, some with paint fleck and old nails. Luckily these few remaining fragments were enough to piece back exactly the dimensions of the original building as well as its wooden structure. Enough remained that our on-site carpenter, Mr Mike Bridgwater who lives in Dormer House within the old Halswell estate, was able to precisely reproduce the building using traditional methods, materials and to the original specifications. Though the building does not appear on the eighteenth-century estate maps this seems likely to be an oversight due to its size and location under the large branches of some very early chestnut and oak trees. The building is due to be completed in the more clement weather of next spring, 2016, when its traditional weatherboarding is attached and the thatched roof is completed. The park may one day again see deer roaming through its fields, however the venison hut’s function as a larder to hang slaughtered deer is unlikely to see such a revival. The hut is in an ideal location as a viewing folly, commanding wonderful views over the Halswell estate and across the countryside out over the Bristol Channel and beyond to Wales. As such it will become a resting place hung with antlers for walkers or riders on their tours of the parkland.