With the imposing walls of a ruined medieval castle standing in the background, Conwy’s Quay House is not only the smallest house in Great Britain, but probably also the smallest house museum in the world. I had a chance to visit this itsy bitsy tourist attraction on a day trip to Wales (that’s my crappy photo above) on my way to see the town’s 13th century castle.
Built sometime in the 16th century, the house, which measures 72 inches wide and 122 inches high (or 1.8 metres wide by 3.05 metres high), was built in a gap between two terrace houses. Believe it or not, this very uncomfortable house was lived in continuously until the early 1900s. At one time an entire family lived here. The last occupant was a 6 ft 3 inch tall fisherman named Robert Jones (of course) who was forced to move out when the town council declared the house unfit for habitation. I guess he had a hard time standing up. Uh…really? The building is still owned by his descendants.
If you’re worried the house has not been properly recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records, it has. Phew! As you can see from my photo, a woman, who usually dresses in traditional Welsh costume because tourists like that sort of thing, stands outside the front door. But that wasn’t always the case as you can see from this picture, it’s just a random old lady hanging out, instead of one forced to pretend she is from the past. For only £0.75 or £0.50 (don’t forget the child discount) visitors can take a look around the one-up, one-down (just two freakin’ rooms!) while listening to an audio recording that explains the house’s history. The second floor is so teeny tiny that only one person at a time can view it from a step ladder. There’s room for a squashed bed, cabinet and stove (to keep warm of course). And just like that…the tour is over.
If you ever find yourself wandering around North Wales, I suggest you first go to Llandudno, then Snowdonia, and maybe Conwy to see y ty lleiaf ym mhrydain fawr. What? You don’t speak Welsh? Beth bynnag!