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The Witney Wonder

  • First entered:

  • Cost of shedbuild:

    £250 to £499


Combining the solidity and looks of a sixteenth century Tudor manor house with the utility and gardening benefits of a well ventilated greenhouse this hybrid wattle and daub greenhouse/shed is a unique construction and, as far as our research goes, the only such building in the UK.

Using ancient techniques, and very local materials, this shed is made using wood, sticks (hazel and willow), mud (from the ditch at the end of the garden), doors (abandoned by the side of the road), manure from a nearby dairy farm, rainwater and a limestone render. The shed was planned in only a very approximate way and the mental designs would disgust even the worst architect. The windows were salvaged or handmade and the roof came from French windows destined for landfill. When combined these materials intrigue the neighbours, delight visiting children, and, with visiting family members, confirm their worst suspicions...

The building provides a regulated, secure environment that does not overheat and where the temperature can easily be controlled. Its looks match that of its house and is as pleasant as the garden around it. Furthermore, this is a material that could ensure the Witney Wonder will live for 500 years.

Other info

Constructed over a painfully slow two years, fully one year behind schedule, the floor is made of wood shavings and some windows open. The horizontal door to the rear opens to the tool shed and allows easy access for larger items.

The shed also benefits from a large vine growing out the side ensuring a supply of fresh fruit juice every September or wine every winter.

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