A SHEEP farmer has lost out on buying a dilapidated shepherd's hut - to a wealthy Londoner who paid £16,000 to use it as a quirky holiday home.

The 8ft high, 9ft wide, 6ft deep wooden hut is covered in rot and has a leaky roof.

But despite being in desperate need of restoration, the Victorian contraption sold for 20 times its £800 estimate at Charterhouse Auctioneers of Sherborne, Dorset.

READ MORE: Untouched items from Dorset home to be sold by Charterhouse

Bournemouth Echo: The hut is in desperate need of restoration. Picture: BNPSThe hut is in desperate need of restoration. Picture: BNPS

The trend for shepherd's huts being used either as novel holiday stays let out on places like Airbnb or as home offices is thought to have led to the bidding war.

In 2017 David and Samantha Cameron famously bought a brand new one for £25,000 to use as a garden office.

The anonymous London-based buyer who secured the run-down hut saw off competition from a 'terribly disappointed' Dorset shepherd who hoped to use it for its traditional purpose.

The unnamed shepherd far exceeded his £8,000 budget in a desperate bid to secure it, but his purse-strings could not stretch far enough.

Bournemouth Echo: The Dorset sheep farmer was outbid on the hut by £8,000. Picture: BNPSThe Dorset sheep farmer was outbid on the hut by £8,000. Picture: BNPS

The hut had been kept in the grounds of a small country house outside of Shaftesbury where it 'hadn't moved a wheel for 50 years'.

It achieved a hammer price of £13,000, with extra fees taking the final figure paid to £16,250.

Auctioneer Richard Bromell said: "Although it is in quite a state, the hut is such a charming item with so much character.

"If you want to restore it, the first thing to attack is the leaky roof.

"We had two bidders going against each other and when that happens the price is driven up.

"The client was from central London and one can assume he wanted it for a holiday home or an outside office at a second residence.

"The other bidder has just bought a flock of sheep and amazingly wanted to use it as a shepherd's hut, which must be pretty much unheard of these days.

"The under-bidder was terribly disappointed. He stopped bidding at about £8,000, had a think, and carried on until he really had had enough at £11,500.

"It was a hard-fought bidding battle.

"The hut was in the grounds of a country house and had not moved a wheel in 50 years.

"The father died so we carried out a sale of its contents and the family was over the moon with the result."