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Colin Elliott from the Caravan Club with The Wanderer at their site in Broadway.

The Wanderer is the oldest caravan in the world and was made in 1884 by Bristol Wagon Works Company for Dr William Gordon Stables and has travelled tens of thousands of miles in its lifetime. The Edwardian holiday home weighs two tonnes and is 30 foot long. It boasts a bookcase, china cabinet and musical instruments in its stunning interior. It can be pulled by two horses and first went on tour in 1885 and was last used in 1960. It will now be housed at the Caravan Club site in the Costwolds.

Beverley Larion from The Caravan Club said: “We would prefer to keep it at the Caravan Club rather than in a storage facility so our members can enjoy it. The Edwardian holiday home was made 128 years ago. It’s great for historians and enthusiasts to see this unique vehicle which was the first ever custom-built for leisure caravan”

The caravan was inspired by traditional horse-drawn Romany wagons and it was restored in the decade running up to the Caravan Club’s centenary in 2007. Described as a “shed on wheels”, it was used by former owner Dr Stables as he traveled on holiday pulled by two horses named Captain Corn-flower and Polly Pea-blossom.

Ms Larion added: “It’s the most beautiful display of craftsmanship internally.”

It was made in 1884 by Bristol Wagon Works Company for Dr William Gordon Stables [SWNS]

Gwilym Owen owns the Motor Museum where the Wanderer was previously stored. He said: “It’s had a little bit of modernisation over the years, such as new wheels and axle from a 1930’s Austin and a more modern hitch but everything else is basically the same as it was when constructed. It’s very much like a garden shed on wheels and I can imagine it was very cosy in its day, especially if you tried to fit more than one person inside it.”


Christopher Macgowan