The Smallest Buildings In Britain
Britain has always been known for its quirky ways, or eccentricity. And being a small island we have had to learn to adapt to the land that we have been given. There are large towns and cities, small hamlets and of course those famous fishing villages along the coast. But over the last few years with the rising cost of housing, and Britain becoming more crowded, we have decided that small is best. And when I say small I mean tiny!
Of course not all the small houses or tiny pubs are that small, but there are a few that will surprise you. Like a race of hobbits trying to find a burrow to sleep in, we, the British won’t take no for an answer. If we want to live somewhere then it will just have to be built there, or adapted from the surrounding buildings or land.
So here are a few of the many small and quaint curiosities, from houses to tiny pubs that make us little Britain.
Teeny Tiny House!
Quay House Conwy Wales
Sometimes on our cobbled streets, the cobbles just get in the way. And don't help you when you are trying to build a house. In fact, they can mess up the job quite nicely! In the case of Quay House, I have no idea what happened! In this case you can’t blame the cobbles as there aren't any! What they do have, however is, or should I say, was, a gap between two buildings. Its said that the builders both started off at the same time.
One started on the left building, and one on the right. They measured the house as they were building it, but someone didn't do their maths! And a gap was left. So, what to do? I know, one of them said, lets build a tiny house in the middle! So the 10ft by 6ft Quay House was born.
The funniest thing about it was that the last resident, was a six foot fisherman named Robert Jones. That must have been one hell of a squeeze!
He actually lived there for fifteen years.
The house became unfit to live in, according to the Council, and now the Jones family who still own it, have turned it into a museum. The viewing public can see the ground floor room where there is a tap and stove. And the upstairs that has a tiny bedroom with a bed and a small cabinet.
Somerset Mini Library
In Britain today, we are losing our Libraries at a very quick rate. Nearly every day you will see on TV, another town hit by the Snatch Library Brigade, as I like to call them. In other words, the local Councils. Of course there is always a good reason for this, according to the Council in charge. But if you ask them exactly what they mean, like any Politian or Government Minister, they will come out with an argument that just does not make sense.
Maybe if they began to take notice of what the people want, then they may agree with our point of view. Leave our Libraries alone. And in Wells Somerset England, the public have taken matters into their own hands.
Coincidentally, at the same time the Council closed the library, the local phone box was also closed down. So, with typical English spirit did we take it lying down? Did we heck! The phone box was quickly converted into a new Public Library! Its called the Book Exchange. The BT owned box was sold to the Westbury Parish Council for £1. This is not a usual practice as you will understand, especially at that price! But money had to exchange hands.
The phone box now has four shelves, and is crammed with best seller books, cookbooks, DVDs and of course children’s books. The villagers can go and pick whatever they want to read or watch at any time of the day. Great idea!
The Theatre of Small Conveniences Malvern Worcestershire
Not all Theatres start of with grand ideas. This Malvern Victorian Theatre was in fact a gentleman’s toilet! It wasn't even built in Victorian times, but who cares, it’s a cute little building. It was founded by a local man who was a Puppeteer back in 1999. The decorations are based on something called commedia dell’arte, and the style has fresco’s, gold gilt and red velvet curtains.
The Theatre is open on Saturday afternoons, and specialises in short puppet shows. It has even had its fair share of actors who have given intimate performances for a select audience. As there is only room for six visitors at a time, then it can be said to be very selective!
Once a year it closes for repairs, but for now, its once again open and ready for the next puppet performance.
The Smallest Pub In Britain
Bury St. Edmunds England has, according to the Guinness Book of Records, got the Smallest Pub In England. It's called The Nutshell, which I think is very appropriate! This Suffolk pub has been serving Pints ever since 1867.
The bar itself, is 15ft by 7ft. It is now a major tourist attraction, and does tend to get slightly crowded! The customers can buy a good old traditional beer, and at the same time take in some of the old photos, and browse historical items. But is it the Smallest Pub in England?
Well, no actually its not!
That great accolade now goes to The Signal Box Inn Cleethorpes.
You wouldn't believe that a pub could get any smaller could you? Well, yes it can! The Signal Box is a pub regularly used by people who travel on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway.
Thousands use this railway, and if everybody tried to squeeze in, there would be a bit of a problem! There is only room for four seated customers, and two standing!
At just 64 square feet, you have to be a bit tiny yourself to enjoy a pint. But the good thing is that the landlord offers five pumps of real ale to slake your thirst. The inn itself dates back to 1900, and used to be a signalman's hut.
Tiny Police Station
Now I know I have never been arrested, but even I know that police stations are a bit bigger than this! Maybe its for a hobbit! This teeny tiny Police Station, is situated at the south corner of London's Trafalgar Square and in it's day, only had room for one police officer! Now that's a surprise!
Imagine walking past this little builiding, back in the old days, and trying to steal someone's purse. All of a sudden out pops a police officer! Seriously, this was really used in days gone by. It was built back in 1926 and its said that it was used to keep an eye on demonstrators.
Its actually an old light fitting. It was hollowed out and then windows were added so that the police could keep a birds eye view on you. Trafalgar Square has an abundance of pigeon so I get the idea! It also had a direct telephone line back to Scotland Yard!
See the light on the top? Evidently every time the police officer called Scotland Yard, the light would flash on and off, to alert any other policemen that trouble was afoot! Sadly, its now used as a store cupboard for the cleaners of the Square.
So, there you are. Britain's Smallest Buildings. Unless, of course you know better!
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