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Britain's Smallest House Has 16 Square Feet of Floor Space

Michele Debczak
Mr M Evison, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
Mr M Evison, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0 / Mr M Evison, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0
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Long before tiny houses and micro apartments were popular, the town of Conwy in Wales was home to a seriously small abode. The Quay House was built in the 16th century, and it served as an actual home until 1900. No one lives in the space today, but Britain's smallest house is open to tourists.

The building was originally constructed on an unused patch of land nestled in a row of medieval cottages. It would be easy to miss without its bright red facade. According to Atlas Obscura, the Quay House of Conwy measures 10 feet deep and under 6 feet wide. The 16 square feet of usable floor space are divided across two levels, with a single bed and small storage nook on the second story and a living area with a bench and fireplace taking up the ground floor.

The last tenant to occupy the property full-time was a fisherman named Robert Jones, who, at 6 foot 3 inches tall, barely fit into the cramped space. His landlord—also named Robert Jones, coincidentally—lived next door. The city deemed the structure unfit for occupation in 1900, but it has remained in the family of Robert Jones (the owner, not the tenant) for generations. Today, his great-great-granddaughter Jan Tyley owns the house and keeps it open for curious visitors.

Though it no longer serves a practical purpose, the Quay House has become a local landmark. After his tenant was forced to move out, the property's owner Robert Jones and his friend and editor of the North Wales Weekly News Roger Dawson toured the UK with a measuring tape. After measuring the country's tiniest dwellings, they determined that the Quay House was the smallest house in Britain, and it still had value as a tourist attraction. The Guinness Book of World Records later confirmed their findings.

As of 2021, a visit to Great Britain's smallest house costs £1.50 for adults and 50 pence for children ages 16 and younger. The interior is decorated as it would have been when it was last occupied in 1900. The second floor isn't stable enough to stand in, but guests are allowed to sneak a peek from the stairs. Just make sure to use the bathroom before visiting the home, as there's no room for a toilet on the property.

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