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 glamping Bell tents 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 have been gentrified by the glamping fraternity in order to provide our woodland glamping holidays.

Today's glamping holiday bell tent is fundamentally different to Mr Sibley's Bell tent as it has been re-designed; the tipis traditional smoke vent has gone whilst small walls have been added 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.

original bell tent patent

1856 Patent application of the bell tent's forerunner.

An excellent illustration of the glamping 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 our woodland glamping holidays. In the modern world bell tents now provide luxury glamping holidays, complete with facilities and sumptuous interiors that are a far cry from their original utilitarian function.

Thankfully our woodland glamping holiday guest do not have to be concerned with erecting their Bell tent for their glamping holiday. At Woodland Escape our off-grid woodland glamping holidays 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, and outside you will find a gas hob, fire put and barbecue.

Visit our Bell tent glamping holidays page for prices & facilities, or for our specially-erected, larger, 6-person Family Bell tent