Bell Tent Glamping History
The History of Bell Tent Glamping 

The Bell Tent is a very traditional format for quick-to-pitch accommodation.

The Bell tent's original design can be traced back to the 19th Century. Of course, the Bell tents of the past were a far cry from the Bell tents we use for glamping today, but we can trace the Bell tent's roots back to the Sibley Tent. Henry Sibley was the inventor of this new tent,  and gave it his name, he was inspired by tipis of the American Indians.

Sibley's original bell tent did not have guy ropes, relying just on pegs round the base of the bell tent and then the tension between the canvas and the bell tent's central pole to hold it in place.

Today, the modern Bell tents used for our woodland glamping holidays have inbuilt waterproof floors as well as pegs, guy ropes and a sturdy central pole.

Henry Sibley gained patent for his bell tent in 1856. The Bell tents of the 19th century were then used by the American Department of Defence. The key factors of the Sibley bell tent; rugged & tough canvas which provide spacious living accommodation, that has been applied to the modern concept of luxury glamping.

Today's Bell tent is fundamentally different to Mr Sibley's as it has been re-designed; the tipis traditional smoke vent has been removed whilst small walls have been added with zipped segments for ventilation along with a larger entrance, fitted water proof ground sheet and guy ropes.

The Sibley Bell tent was so successful it was utilised by other countries. As a result in 1855 it became the accommodation issued to the British cavalry on tour.

Patent application for the Sibley tent, fore-runner of the modern glamping Bell tent

1856 Patent application of the Bell tent's forerunner.

Illustration of the Sibley Tent, the predecessor to the modern-day glamping Bell tents.

An excellent illustration of the Bell tent's predecessor, the Sibley tent.

Today the classical beauty of the Bell tent's design, has meant they have had a renaissance as luxury glamping holiday accommodation such as the ones we use on our woodland glampsite in Somerset. In the modern world Bell tents now provide luxury staycations, complete with facilities and sumptuous interiors that are a far cry from their original utilitarian functions.

Thankfully our guests do not have to be concerned with erecting their Bell tent for their glamping holiday. At Woodland Escape our off-grid Bell tents and Yurts each come complete with a solar electric light, a double bed, two single sofa beds, cool box with freezer blocks, a hamper with crockery, cutlery and glasses, sauce pan, frying pan. Outside you will find a gas hob, fire put, barbecue and a picnic bench.

Visit our Bell tent page for pictures and information about our woodland Bell tents at Woodland Escape.

Bell tent glamping in Somerset at Woodland Escape

Woodland Escape provides the history of Bell tent glamping in the UK as a free resource. Please feel free to cite our history pages and reference them in your own research & work.

Woodland Escape is a member of the Country Glamping Holidays stable, a family business who have provided glamping holidays for over a decade and one of the longest & most experienced glamorous camping companies in the UK. CGH provides accommodation delivery, owns & operates sites, provides on site operations for landowners & provides consultancy. CGH is happy speak to the media and researchers about the industry. Please feel free to contact us regarding any queries.

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