The mysterious story of London’s smallest house

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RobsLondon’s Robert Lordan takes viewers on a visual tour of No.10 Hyde Park Place, considered London’s smallest house.

London’s smallest house is on Bayswater Road – 10 Hyde Park Place, W2 to be exact…. but what is the story behind it?

This small residence, which is off Bayswater Road and close to Lancaster Gate tube station, has a rather mysterious history. Some say the house’s proximity to the cemetery made it the perfect lookout house, while others believe it was built to serve as servants’ quarters.

The path in question led to St George’s Cemetery – now St George’s Fields – which is behind it. The proximity of this ancient cemetery leads to another suggestion: that the small building was, in fact, intended to be a guardhouse, from where an eagle-eyed watchman could keep watch over body thieves… It is also plausible to assume that the house was built by a Miss Jubb- who lived at number 9 as a residence for her maid and, as she blessed the annex with a door number, it became a house apart whole.

Other theories about the house are the stuff of rumor and legend. The first being to meet the requirements of a will and the other stating that the house remains small out of spite.

The first of them believes that the house was built by a miser resembling Scrooge, who had inherited a fortune but… had to comply with an unusual condition if he wanted to collect the money. The clause, in this case, being that he was to use some of the money to build a property in London. … The last claim is that an old man lived here long before anyone else and was quite happy with his cozy little cottage so much so that when larger properties started moving in; it refused to budge, and so the shabby little building ended up being wedged in between.

However, the house is now owned by the nuns of Tyburn Convent, where it is used as a silent retreat.

by boing boing

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