The mystical covenant between men and sheds, an anchor of civilisation for centuries, appeared last week to be facing two dire threats to its existence; the advent of the £20,000 price tag, and an invasion by women.
Twenty grand for a rickety hut on a Dorset clifftop? Outstanding value, says Andrew Harvey, a local estate agent, and confirmation, if any was needed, of the dizzying spread of shed chic. Built in the 1960s, the down-on-its-luck structure, 8ft by 6ft, and in manifest need of repair, is believed to have set a price record for a no-frills, allotment variety British shed.
“It might seem a lot of money but it’s in a nice setting, and someone will definitely buy it,” predicts the author Gareth Jones, 27, whose stylish new book, Shedmen, forms part of the modern shedscape’s burgeoning literature. The “someone”, moreover, is highly likely to be a woman.
A recent survey found that 40 per cent of women considered their sheds to be an important private space compared with only 38 per cent of men. “Women these days are spending much more time in sheds,” says Jones, “and I suppose not everyone’s happy about it.”