The garden shed: a British institution

The garden shed: a British institution
    Have you got a unique shed – one that's so eye-catching that your guests can't help being amazed by it?

Maybe your shed's so perfect that it's the envy of your neighbours, the talk of the town, and people come from miles around to marvel at it?

Earlier this month, we looked at some of the more unusual uses for the humble garden shed.

While most people still use the shed as a storage place, many let their imaginations run wild and put their own personal stamp on their outbuilding.

Whether it was turning it into a microbrewery, using is as a makeshift music studio or turning it into a guesthouse, people aren't short of ideas when it comes to their sheds.

It seems the shed is not just a normal part of everyday life – it's become a British institution, up there with fish and chips, bad weather, Wimbledon and Sir Paul McCartney.

Current estimates suggest Britain has the highest concentration of garden sheds in the world. We have 11.5 million sheds and spend 60 million hours a week in them (in total, of course) – that's almost an hour a week for the entire population!

There's even a national shed week, which runs from July 1st – 6th, and a shed of the year competition – last year, it was won by Alex Holland from Machynlleth, Wales, whose shed is based around a 100-year-old upturned boat.

The word 'shed' has Anglo-Saxon origins and is related to the word 'shade'. Originally, it denoted a place of quiet and reflection – a shed occupant would normally be a wise man, above the fray, the Telegraph reports.

A good shed can now cost upwards of £30,000, and a few years ago a beach hut in Shaldon, Devon was put on the market for £250,000.

Some sheds, such as Benjamin Britten's potting shed at Horsham, Suffolk have even become listed buildings.

And in 1999, a garden shed was voted into the Millennium Dome's national identity display as a top symbol of Britishness.

So there you have it: if you're a shed enthusiast, you're not alone – it's a national obsession. So why has the garden shed become a British institution?

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