Fascinating theories over secret history of pint size house

A pint sized property on a quiet Birkenhead street left ECHO readers puzzled as they put forward theories on the quirky building's history.

The property, which is on Westbourne Road in Birkenhead, barely looks tall enough to stand up in and from the road it appears to consist of little more than one small room.

Photos of the tiny house got readers talking and throwing in their own ideas on what it could have possibly been used for – and some Wirral residents even shared their memories of seeing the building in use over the years.

Sebastian Cowden said: "It used to be some kind of motor mechanics or garage. When I was a lad in the late 70s and early 80s, back in the day and before these new-fangled changes came in, you could walk through that alleyway from Grange Mount to Westbourne Road, and there were always cars being serviced at the back.

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"Someone said it was specifically for taxis, but I don't recall that."

Caroline Henderson also mentioned taxis in her comment, saying: "I thought it was the taxi office but could be wrong. Definitely not a house."

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The pint size proportions of the property lent themselves to some interesting theories over possible past uses.

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Wendy Gooley suggested the building may have been an old kiosk, with Alex McGettigan positing that it may have once been used by a coal merchants.

Other readers went above and beyond in their search for answers to the question, consulting old Ordinance Survey maps to see when the property first appeared.

Mark Laycock said: "The 1888-1913 OS map doesn’t clarify any part of the situation either. If anything, it brings more questions to the matter."

Property on Westbourne Road in Birkenhead, Wirral.

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Robert Clements replied with an answer that narrows down the dates slightly, saying: "But it is on the 1892-1914 map."

Tony Probbing said: "Plans from 1840 [show] there used to be a small private park behind the houses on Grange mount and this building was there. Possibly a gate house for the park."

This theory found favour with other readers, with Robert Clements replying to say: "Yes, I think it has been like game keeper lodge for the house and later the park."

Sharon Hearn said: "I think it was a gatehouse."

Standing in between two alleyways, the property certain;y grabs your attention as you walk down the street.

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And the building's unusual appearance gave rise to another theory, put forward by Jacob Butler, who suggested it could have historically been a 'spite house'.

A spite house is a building constructed to irritate neighbours or anyone who may have land stakes.

Because the purpose of 'spite houses' isn't long term occupation, they can often have strange and impractical shapes.

The property also prompted some more whimsical answers from ECHO readers, with Stephanue Jones saying it looked like the house from Pixar film 'Up'.

Andy Mulvihill said: "Who lives there – The Borrowers?"

However, the answer may be far simpler, and potentially more disappointing, than any of these suggested answers.

Clare Street said: "I use to live next door – it’s a dump. It's just got a toilet and a tiny room, you can’t even swing a cat in. It it’s full of taxi parts and other rubbish and there’s a garage at the back. It’s falling apart inside, just used as a taxi rank and dumping ground."

Do you know what this property used to be or what it's used for now? Let us know in the comments section below.

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