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The Garden Shed

1129 of 1160 nominations


The Garden Shed

Is this an icon?


The Garden Shed

If an Englishman’s home is his castle, what does that make his shed? For thousands of years the shed (or “scead” – meaning “shade” – to give it its true Anglo-Saxon name) has been a place of sanctuary, reflection and calm for the beleaguered English male. But the traditional shed is now under threat, despite more than 1.5 million being sold last year. Allotments are disappearing due to demand for land for housing; council bureaucracy and health and safety regulations make building your shed an increasingly tricky business; price tags are soaring (did you hear about the cliff-top shed in Dorset on the market for £20,000?); and, worst of all, WOMEN are invading them! You are now as likely to find a shed harbouring a beauty spa or mini-gym as one with garden tools or a train set. Sheds are big money: books about shed culture on the bestseller lists, there has been an exhibition at the V&A, celebrity sheds have become tourist attractions (Kipling wrote in his) – the shed is dead, long live the shed!

Photo: Maria Gibbs


Your comments

It is a quintissential suburban image

Richard Burley

While garden sheds are found worldwide, so too are many other icons.... What is unique about the English is there relationship to their garden sheds. What is iconic is the way garden sheds are used by many people in England.
Gary Smith

My father's garden shed also served as a greenhouse and as a meeting place for "our gang" of quite young boys & girls in the early forties. We were so young that everything that went on there was totally fun and innocent! Wonderful times rhey were. As I remember my young lady was a particularly lovely young lady and sadly died very young.
John H Lindop

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer