The Cabin Company

Us & Info

Where we started

Ben Ranson founded The Cabin Company (previously Barrel Top Wagons) in 2011, after recognising the need for small, well-made structures for use as home, holiday, work or practical space.

Taking inspiration from the natural environment here in Devon, and from vintage caravans and showman’s wagons, Ben wanted to design and make solid structures without compromising on aesthetics or the standard of construction.

Our first wagon was made in 2011, and it was borne out of necessity. We had returned from a time living in Greece, and needed somewhere to live! This was our home for three years and coincided with the time when glamping and the world of tiny homes exploded.

Sustainable Carpentry

Interest in our solid, sustainable structures grew and in the decade since, we have made over fifty structures for clients across the country.

Whilst upscaling the business has been an option, it was more appealing to us to stay small and be able to put the same love and care into each and every project.

As a company, we are passionate about using sustainable timber, which supports the local economy and utilises often overlooked softwoods, in an attempt to buck the trend for imported, slow-growing wood

Why the name change?

Barrel Top Wagons ran happily and successfully for eleven years. In that time, our work changed, the market changed and wagons became a much smaller part of what we do.

We’ve spent many an hour working out whether a name change was necessary, and at a point when we committed to a new website (with grant funding from Devon County Council and the UK Government), we decided to go for it.

Barrel Top Wagons is the solid foundation upon which The Cabin Company will operate and we owe everything to the original name

(Also, if we never have to spell out Barrel, as in beer barrel, Top, as in top hat, and Wagons, one G and one S, again, we will be delighted)

Ben Ranson

Founder, designer & head carpenter

Ben is the heart, the soul and the brains behind The Cabin Company (previously Barrel Top Wagons). After moving to Devon in the mid 90’s, he trained in bench joinery and woodwork.

Ben then spent the next twenty years travelling, working and learning constantly about all aspects of the trade, including timber framing, log cabin building, traditional and modern methods of building and carpentry. He went on to oversee substantial building projects and brings all that experience to TCC.

On the rare occasion he has time off, Ben heads to Cornwall for beach time or to our beloved Dartmoor with Jo and Molly the dog.

Jo Henderson

Founder & office manager

Jo moved to Devon in 2001, via Cumbria, Amsterdam, Spain and Brighton. Having worked for decades in the hospitality industry she ran a successful restaurant, The Pickled Walnut, in Okehampton for five years.

Now, Jo is one half of The Cabin Company, supporting Ben on the office side of the business. She brings her love of meeting people to the role, always happy to chat through ideas and queries, and offers assistance with planning applications, with 100% success rate!

She loves living between the moor and the coast, swims in rivers and the sea as often as possible and can normally be found in Bude on days off, eating ice-cream and hanging out with Molly and Ben.