Adaptive Reuse in the Country

A hut originally built for farm workers is today offering a different level of accommodation for visitors.

In a list of early Tasmanian farm buildings the description “men's hut" is often found. These huts housed both the transient and many permanent workers that were needed on a farm before the age of mechanisation.

At the well-known property and golf links of 'Ratho' at Bothwell, the well constructed, solid brick walls, bread oven and shingled roof of the Single Men's Hut, as it was always known, is testimony to the social conscience of Alexander Reid, the first owner.

The men cooked in a fire-place and hung their cooking utensils on a swingle. The bread oven was adjacent. Many years later a bathroom was added, becoming the only shower on the farm until the 1980s. The drain ran straight into the Clyde River.

The Ratho farm buildings have now been converted into accommodation units as part of another authentic tourism experience in regional Tasmania. Approved by the Heritage Council in 2013, the works have transformed an under-utilised farm building into a welcoming accommodation stay for visitors to the region.

The Single Men's Hut has had a name change to The Bakery but it still houses those who travel.

Thank you to Mary Ramsay for the information and images

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