Welcome to My Shire Houses - the creators of beautiful, bespoke structures, Camping Pods & Treehouses. Our business started 8 years ago, with a lifelong vision and a passion for using creative builds to offer sustainable and solid Pods that can be lived in and loved - all year round. In the heart of the Cotswolds, UK, we work as a small team of 6 highly qualified craftsmen and 2 golden retrievers; each Shire Pod is created and designed with close and careful communication with the customer, to offer an accessible and comfortable space. As a small boy, I was fascinated with working with my hands and working with wood. I remember many afternoons as a child, where my Grandpa and I would sit in his garage and build fantasy castles out of clay and bolster wood. My love for cabinet making and architecture came together to fuel the inspiration for the company; to build beautiful wooden structures that give you the feeling of truly getting away into another world, whilst keeping traditional hand skills alive.
James (Owner) and the Pups, Max & Alfie
Over the last eight years, I’ve seen a great amount of growth in the industry of Log Cabins & Glamping, and have been keeping a close eye on the ever-changing trends of the market. At My Shire Houses, we like to work differently to others in the industry; one of the main reasons people are enamoured with our designs, is not only because of the financial benefits and rewards that a Pod can have -from a business perspective- but also because of the way these whimsical projects retain the aesthetic of being handmade and traditional. It’s no secret that people love craftsmanship and hand skills, so I like to create projects that are far from a clean-cut, computer drawn cut-out as possible. At My Shire Houses, we keep the hand skills alive, using all-natural materials and getting the best out of my skilled staff, for our projects.
Team Shire at our Cotswolds Workshop
Articles & NEWS
Click on the article you would like to read:
Bringing Middle Earth Homes to Life -The Green Living Magazine For South Devon
James with George Clarkes Amazing Spaces
Throughout the following summer, we had a film crew from Channel 4 ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’ visit our team at our Cotswold Workshop, to film the process of several projects being made and perfected. When Channel 4 brought their cameras to the workshop we were currently working on a project for The Star College; to offer an accessible living space.
The Pod we had made throughout the filming process was made to be wheelchair accessible and we were able to implement many small changes to allow for a truly accessible space, for multiple disabilities. This design had dealt with a subject quite close to my heart, as I had been temporarily wheelchair-bound for a period of time, after being hit by a drunk driver and long and painful recovery to walk again. It was extremely satisfying to know that we could provide offer accessible structures which maintain their beauty and traditional aspects, without compromising on design.
After the experience with Channel 4, the rest is history! We had gained an immense amount of interest nationwide, once people started to hear about our company; we gained interest from people who wanted to translate their own projects into reality, and who valued the fine hand skills we use to craft each of our Pods.
We are always changing and creating new designs to experiment with all that is new and exciting in the industry we are in. We are just about to release a new two-story Treehouse design (which has a much more cost-effective approach to building a high entry house for almost a 3rd of the price that some other companies are charging). We are able to do this by changing the way the design integrates with the tree itself, without compromising on materials or quality. Watch the gallery and the Treehouse’s dedicated page on our website for updates in 2020.
Whilst working as a Cabinet Maker, I had rented a van to work on my first project for My Shire Houses; working long hours every night after work, for nine months. At the end of this time, I took my very first small structure (which was a Lord of the Rings-like Hobbit House), to a Wood Festival in the Cotswolds.
I had no idea of the sort of positive attention this design would garner, as photographs of the project were taken and put onto social media and comments were made, praising the creativity and imagination invested in the build. This initial design spread like wildfire across the internet, leading even actor Stephen Fry to tweet about it. From this, I found out that Channel 4 had viewed the design on a Tolkien/Hobbit Fansite and decided to get in touch with me.