The Smallest House was oportunitically built as an infill property.
Two rows of cottages had been built on the quay, each row starting from the town wall towers at the extremes of Lower Gate Street. Because both rows of cottages were built up to the central tower, they didn't quite meet and there was a gap left between them. With the passage of time and a shortage of housing in the town, an enterprising builder realised that, with the side walls and back (the tower!) already in place, all that was needed to create another house was a front wall and a roof and so the Smallest House came into being.
For many years the Smallest House was called home by a number of different people, including Phillip Davies, a painter, in 1841; Maria Edwards, listed as a widow and a pauper in the 1851 census; William Jones, a master mariner, and his wife Margaret in 1861; John Jones, a coachman, in 1871; George Edwards, a fisherman, and his wife, Mary, in 1881; and finally, Robert Jones, who gave his occupations variously as a gardener, labourer and fisherman (so truly a "jack of all trades") and who was the last person to live in "Smalls", as it was affectionately known by everyone.
In 1900 the inspector from the Corporation declared Smalls and the other cottages built to the left of it unfit for habitation and all the tenants had to leave. Having only bought the property in 1891, the owner, coincidentally also called Robert Jones and who lived further up the quay in Custom House Terrace, was dismayed at the loss of the rental income from Smalls and bemoaned his loss to his friends. One of his friends, Roger Dawson, was the editor of the North Wales Weekly News and, being an enterprising individual, he persuaded Robert to tour the country with him, measuing small houses in order to be able to declare the house The Smallest House in Great Britain and save it from demolition. The Guinness Book of Records officially confirmed Smalls' status as the Smallest House in Great Britain in the early 1920s.
The house has remained in the ownership of Robert Jones' family ever since and is currently owned by his great, great granddaughter.