Take a stroll down Liverpool’s Wavertree High Street and, as you walk past the many pubs, the laundrette, the pharmacy, corner shops and hair dressers you might think of it of any other Liverpool street. But look closely and there is a little gem of hidden history on this street which you may not have even noticed.
Next to the Cock and Bottle Public House is what used to be the smallest house in England. Pipped to the post for the UK title by Quay House in Conwy, Wales, number 95 Wavertree High Street was just 6 feet wide and 14 feet long, making it the smallest house in England. The tiny property was reportedly built in 1850 in the passageway space between a Temperance Coffee House, now the Cock and Bottle pub, and its neighbouring property, now a betting shop. During its mere 35 years of occupancy, the two roomed property housed a family with 8 children and a gentleman who was so large for the 8 inch stairs that he had them widened to 16 inches and yet still had to go up them sideways.
In 1925 it ceased its function as a home as the last residents moved out. In 1952 it was incorporated into the Cock and Bottle pub and now is almost disguised into the pub. The façade was changed to fit the look of the pub and the door and window removed. However, after much campaigning from local residents, a fake window and door were fitted in the late 1990s to reinstate the property’s unique identity. In 2011, the house was changed again to create a separate entrance into the accommodation above the pub and it was once again able to boast a real door, although to the right of where the original once was. Since then, it has served its purpose in this way and, although 95 High Street, Wavertree, has now lost its identity as the smallest house in England, it can still be seen proudly standing on the street as a little piece of history, almost, lost in time.
Do you know of a smaller house in England? If so, please e mail us and we will run a feature on your little piece of history.