Bar, oratory, amusement arcade: 19 of the best sheds you’ve ever seen

Less can be so much more when you bring a dash of creativity to your surroundings

Give us this day our daily shed: Fr Len Black in his Oratory of St Joseph, in Scotland. Photograph: Katielee Arrowsmith/PA Wire

Give us this day our daily shed: Fr Len Black in his Oratory of St Joseph, in Scotland. Photograph: Katielee Arrowsmith/PA Wire

 

If you watched Dermot Bannon’s Super Small Spaces on Sunday, you’ll know that less can be so much more when you bring a dash of creativity to your surroundings. You might even have friends among the increasing number of Irish people who have built bars in their back yards.

But you probably wouldn’t expect to find an oratory in a garden shed – nor a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-inspired “inventor’s workshop” or a bra-fitting boutique.

Those are just three of the 331 entrants vying for the title of Cuprinol Shed of the Year. Fr Len Black, from Inverness, has made it to the finals of the British competition’s 15th year with his Oratory Of St Joseph. The priest streamed Mass from the shed every day during lockdown, attracting viewers from Essex to Australia.

Nicholas Pointing, who lives on the Isle of Wight, in southern England, built a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang-inspired shed as he wanted a space to construct a replica of the film’s car for his wife.

Joanna van Blommestein, a specialist bra-fitter, built the lingerie boutique Bra Boss in her summerhouse.

Andrew Wilcox, the competition’s head judge and founder, says: “Sheds are not just unloved brown structures at the bottom of the garden that house tools and household junk – they are vital spaces where you can go to relax, work on a project or burn off some steam.”

Voting is open until July 12th. The overall winner will receive £1,000, a plaque, £100 worth of Cuprinol products and “eternal shed glory”.

Lockdown category Fr Len Black in his shed, the Oratory of St Joseph, in Inverness, Scotland. Photograph: Katielee Arrowsmith/PA

Workshop/studio category Nicholas Pointing’s Chitty Inventor’s Workshop, in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Tom Wren/PA

Cabin/summerhouse category Joanna van Blommestein’s Bra Boss boutique, in Faversham, Kent. Photograph: James Linsell-Clark/PA Wire

Nature’s haven category Nathan Macara and Rebecca Roseff’s Batbarn, built for the endangered species of the greater and lesser horseshoe bat, in Colwall, Great Malvern, Herefordshire. Photograph: Anita Maric/PA

Workshop/studio category Ally Scott outside her Peculiar Pear, in Southampton, Hampshire. Photograph: Tom Wren/PA

Workshop/studio category Shobie Lee’s Shobie’s Hair and Wig Shed in Sevenoaks, Kent. Photograph: James Linsell-Clark/PA

Unexpected/unique category Gary Pound with his granddaughter in his shed Grandad Arcade in Witham, Essex. Photograph: James Linsell-Clark/PA

Unexpected/unique category John Williams’ Bungy’s Backyard Bar in Plymouth, Devon. Photograph: Cuprinol/PA

Unexpected/unique category Diane Goring in her Away with the Fairies shed, in Newport, on the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Tom Wren/PA

Pub/entertainment category Alex Reynolds serves a visitor to the Snug, in Consett, County Durham. Photograph: Alex Cousins/PA

Pub/entertainment category Michael Vermiglio’s Mick and Sue’s Peaky Blinders Bar, in Kirkby, near Liverpool. Photograph: Alex Cousins/PA

Pub/entertainment category Danielle Zarb-Cousin in her shed Creme De Menthe-70s Summer Bar in Thorpe Bay, Essex. Photograph: James Linsell-Clark/PA

Nature’s haven category Adam and Jill Pennington in their entry, the Shed, in North Shields, Tyne and Wear. Photograph: Alex Cousins/PA

Nature’s haven category Rosemary and David Hoult’s Hideaway, in Plox Green, Shropshire. Photograph: Adam Hughes/PA

Lockdown category Mark Campbell’s Winterwood, in Wingerworth, Derbyshire. Photograph: Adam Hughes/PA

Lockdown category Paul Richardson’s Pentagon, in Malvern, Worcestershire. Photograph: Adam Hughes/PA

Lockdown category Martin Anderson’s Balnaird chapel, in Strathpeffer, Scotland. Photograph: Katielee Arrowsmith/PA

Cabin/summerhouse category Kieran Bentham’s The Shed, in Otley, West Yorkshire. Photograph: Alex Cousins/PA

Cabin/summerhouse category Martin Gabbutt’s Clutterbuck Lodge, in Blackburn, Lancashire. Photograph: Alex Cousins/PA

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