Tiny house once proclaimed Britain’s smallest is just three metres tall

Britain’s smallest house is a historic tile-fronted property built on a tiny plot purchased hundreds of years ago.

Thimble Hall in Youlgreave, Derbyshire, was built on a plot of land purchased by its original owner in the 18th century.

But they could only afford 3.6 by 3.1 metres at the time, forcing them to construct the home within the tiny area.

In keeping with the property’s theme, builders kept the home’s ceilings nearly as low as its length and width.

That didn’t stop a family of eight from moving in, and in the centuries since they left, the property has adopted a whole new purpose.

Thimble Hall is one of Derbyshire’s Grade-II Listed properties and still stands at 3.7 metres tall hundreds of years after it was finished.

The Guinness Book of World Records proclaimed the house the smallest detached property in Britain, with those few metres divided into a one-up-one-down by a ladder.

Successive owners have put it to good use over the year, with it having serves as a butcher’s shop, antique store and even a cobbler’s since 1756.

Ice cream magnate Bruno Frederick bought the property at auction in 1999 and, appropriately, turned it into an exhibition space for the world’s largest collection of thimbles.

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Announcing the plans in 2018, Mr Frederick’s son Jonathan also said the owner hoped to turn the location into a boutique hotel, where people could sleep among the items.

They envisioned creating the hotel with appropriately downsized furniture, but the project hinged on whether they could gain the appropriate planning permission.

The younger Frederick said the property is a “gem within the Peak District”, and added it was “very dear” to his father, as it “reminds him of the Italian village he came from”.

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Youlgreave has no shortage of historic sites, with a similarly antique fountain located just outside the house.

The fountain was built in 1823 and served as a water source for locals before the introduction of taps.

They would have drank from its contents, which are filtered through the River Bradford’s limestone rock, and likely washed their clothes there.

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