Mind your head! - the Smallest House in Britain


Mind your head! - the Smallest House in Britain

Said to be the smallest house in Britain, this property on the quay side of Conwy harbour in North Wales might be described by an estate agent as 'compact', as it is just six feet wide, 11 feet high and just goes back a similar distance. But it does have a great view across the water. It was last occupied as a residence until May 1900 when the occupant was a six fee three inches tall fisherman named Robert Jones.

Dating back to the 16th century, Britain's Smallest House filled the tiny gap left by builders who had started the construction of houses from opposite ends of the quay.  It has two minute rooms –one downstairs and one upstairs linked by a wooden staircase. Meals were cooked on a tiny fireplace, a settle with a lift up seat acted as coal storage, and the water tap was behind the stairs. The bedroom held a single bed, small dressing table and wash-stand.

In 1900 the property was condemned as being unfit as a human dwelling. The editor of the local paper was intrigued and thinking it might be the smallest house in Britain he investigated further, visiting and measuring other tiny properties and so establishing the claim that the Conwy building was indeed the smallest in the country.

Margaret Williams, who inherited the property from her mother and ran it until her own death in January 2015, wrote a book about it: The Smallest House in Great Britain. It has remained in the same family since it became a tourist attraction.

The house is normally open to visitors.

Further reading

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