London’s Smallest Houses in 1926 were situated in Notting Hill and off the Bayswater Road

The following article appeared in an issue of ‘Wonderful London’ magazine in 1926.

‘At No.10, Hyde Park Place, a street off the Bayswater Road near Lancaster Gate Tube Station, the quaint dwelling seen in the upper photograph is to be found.

No one seems to know how it got there. Tradition says it was built specially for a dwarf.


On the other hand, being so near Kensington Gardens, where – according to Sir James Barrie – strange things live, No.10 may once have been like its neighbours, but, having provoked a curse from “the little people,” may have withered in the night. There are cases of this sort of thing on record.

Continuing along the Bayswater Road in a western direction we come to another minute house at Notting Hill Gate. Small as it is, there are four rooms within, a basement, a shop and two rooms upstairs.


Boundary House, as it is called, is named from the fact that it is built over the ditch, which once divided Paddington from Kensington.

In the old days when the bounds were beaten, the beaters used to go in through the door and out again through the back window.’

‘Beating the bounds’ is an ancient custom that is still observed in some English and Welsh parishes today.

It actually dates back to before the Norman Conquest when it was known as ‘Gangdays’. A group of young and old members of the community would go ‘a-ganging’.

Usually led by the parish priest, they would all walk the boundaries of the parish to share the knowledge of where they lay, give their blessings for the lands and to pray for their protection.

Steve Russell

3 thoughts on “London’s Smallest Houses in 1926 were situated in Notting Hill and off the Bayswater Road

    • Could have been Mick,but all the houses within spitting distance of the station are long gone now unfortunately after the post-war “slum clearances,my Great-Aunt Edie Scott lived in one of them until her house there was flattened and she was moved to White City.Not sure if you`re in the group,but there`s lots of great old pictures and discussions about the Latimer Road area in FB Groups like “Born In W10″,”Born In W11″,Old Notting Hill and North Kensington”,and “The Notting Hill and North Kensington Photo Archive”…These groups,particularly the latter two,are great for anyone interested in the local history,and Rangers often come up in them.

  1. I think both houses are still there,I`ve noticed both in the past.Never knew about the Boundary Ditch though!

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