A History of the Garden Shed

One of the fundamentals of human survival is shelter and, from the cave, this developed into the house.  There is evidence from earliest civilisations that, within their caves, the occupiers created alcoves and even secondary, smaller caves, in which to store ‘things’.

When the shelter evolved into a created structure our ancestors, no doubt, created a smaller subsidiary shelter in which to store their ‘things’ and almost certainly more substantial buildings for animals.   The first recorded shed goes back to 1481 in which a “shadde where in were six grete dogges” is recorded.

OK, so in modern terminology that would be a kennel but the word shed derives from the Old English shadde, shad or shedde.


The British love their sheds, possibly because we have more ‘things’ to store in them than other people.  Or perhaps it may have something to do with the British weather.  One estimate is that Britons own around 11.5 million domestic sheds, a higher concentration than anywhere else on Earth!

The list of uses to which these are put is endless. Some of the more unusual applications we know of include a home for a python, the country’s smallest and most intimate night club and a micro brewery.  The more conventional of us use them to store garden furniture, equipment, ladders and DIY equipment.

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But sheds are changing and the root cause for this is the rapidly diminishing size of gardens.  The average new-build British garden in 2015 measured just 14 metres squared.  You could fit 510 sized plots onto the pitch at Wembley!

But despite smaller sized gardens, the modern home owners’ list of ‘things’ that need storage is still potentially massive including bikes, outdoor toys, furniture and barbecues, not to mention lawn mowers, garden equipment, muddy wellington boots and flower pots!

View our range of sheds here.



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