This tent is derived from a photo of a number of tents in a camp setting, circa American Civil War.But the work incredibly well in Medieval settings, early 20th Century tent camping, and more. In 19th Century texts they are referred to as “imported French belled tents” which is where we get the name. The entry way is under the center panel in the main tent body and, apparently, if the tents were used as residences, the domicile area is in the belled ends. The design is unique and functional.
The original sizing is: overall length 21′, main body 9′ long, 12′ wide and 10′ high with the belled ends being 6′ in radius. Both sides of the main body are cut to be raised for entry and shade. When both sides are raised to a height of 6′ 6″, the canopied area is increased to 8’ 6” x 20′. This tent is finished with mud flaps in the bell ends.
We recently made a smaller one for personal use, and it has become very popular. The Mini is: overal length 18’6″ (8’6″ central area, and two 5′ bells), 10′ wide, and 8’tall. This tent is finished with mud flaps in the bell ends.
Unless otherwise noted, Tentsmith tents are made out of 10 oz. white Sunforger – Flame resistant canvas.
All PRODUCTS ARE “CANVAS ONLY”. YOU WILL NEED POLES, ROPES, AND STAKES TO SET UP YOUR TENT, WHICH CAN BE PURCHASED SEPARATELY.
Randy Dominic –
We have owned one of these for over 30 years. It still looks nearly new, a testament to the quality materials and workmanship Tentsmiths puts into every product. (We also have 2 smaller tents and a canopy.). The great thing about the French double-belled wedge is how the doors open like wings, letting in light and air. We use ours for extended camping trips in hot weather. It also serves as the ‘Gateway to the Past’ when the Living History Company of the Santa Elena History Center does period encampments. Visitors pass through the open section from the 21st century to the 16th. The two end sections shelter ticket-takers and a selection of items from the museum shop. This is a large and versatile tent that makes a real impression. It pitches exactly like the big pup tent it is at heart. Two people can do it, but three are even better.
Katherine de Langelei (SCA) –
This photo is of my pavilion, purchased in 2002. I LOVED that pavilion for the decade I own it and it is still in use a decade later by its current owners.
It came through heavy winds and rain wonderfully. With the ability to open up both sides of the wedge it was very comfortable in the heat and allowed an impressive amount of space for entertaining. The bells to each side can be curtained off as “bedrooms” and/or storage for items you want out of site.
I highly recommend this design, especially for SCA camping.