Garden Rooms and dictionaries

So just what do garden offices and dictionaries have in common? Our historical research into garden rooms has found that way back in 1878, the then editor of the Oxford University Press English Dictionary, James Murray, worked from a garden office he called his ‘Scriptorium’. This was not quite as contemporary and innovative as our designs, but the man had the right idea. The Scriptorium was built within the grounds of Mill Hill School where he was a member of staff and was constructed out of corrugated iron.


When Murray began the colossal job of compiling a modern English Dictionary he clearly understood the need to have a quiet, peaceful work space that has minimal distractions. When the final dictionary was published in 1928 with over 400,000 words and approximately 1,830,000 citations, the job became even bigger – as word passed throughout the country, James began to receive thousands of letters in the post with suggestions for the dictionary. The job was to capture every word in the English spoken language with every possible meaning.

After six 6 years in his original scriptorium, James had another garden office built at his home, which was a bigger version with more storage and workspace. When the job was moving at full pace he even had his very own post box erected outside his house to take the strain off the Post Office.

Today, the school has its own garden office which has been erected in memory of lexicographer James Murray. Called ‘The Script’, it is used for the students as both an IT centre and a peaceful place to study.

If you are in need of a peaceful place to work away from your home life, you may want to consider a garden office from Garden Lodges. Our modern designs are created to meet the needs of our clients and are highly adaptable no matter what field you may work in. If you already have an office that works well for you, our garden rooms and garden studios are perfect for extending your living area, perhaps as a fitness gym, playroom or just an area to unwind and relax.