In A Nutshell: A Brief History of The Smallest Pub In Britain

Last Updated on May 11, 2022

There are quite a few things which put Suffolk on the map, which include the picturesque scenery, the beautiful beaches on the coastline and the amazing activities which take place, as well as the stunning towns. One of these stunning towns in question is Bury St Edmunds, which features the only cathedral in Suffolk and the magnificent Abbey Gardens. However, there is a lot of boozy heritage in Bury, with the Greene King Brewery located in the heart of the town, where you can take a tour around and see how the beer is produced and then around the corner smallest pub in Britain, The Nutshell, which is then sells the very same beer produced in the Brewery.

Today, most people know that The Nutshell as the smallest pub in Britain. Located on the corner of Abbeygate Street and The Traverse, it is well located in the centre of the town. And, if you asked many people, all around the UK, what is the smallest pub, they might say ‘The Nutshell’ in Bury St Edmunds which is in fact correct as it has a Guinness World Record to prove it.

The building which The Nutshell occupies today is around, or over 300 years old, and used to be a little newspaper shop. The building is also thought to have been a greengrocer and a pawnbroker over the years. Then, in or around the year 1893, it is thought that it then became a beerhouse after it was converted from the newspaper shop to the beerhouse by John Stebbing and all of his family. This family continued to run the pub until around 1893. During this period of when the Nutshell was formed as the pub, the Nutshell had its own personality formed and there are still many memorabilia from the early days still evident in the pub. Over the years, it has evolved into the magnificently tiny pub which we know and love today in the town which is ‘The Jewel in the Crown of Suffolk.’ 

When it opened, and still today, the interior size of the pub is only 15ft by 7ft (which is just over 4.5 metres by just over 2 metres) which is what made its name in the Guinness Book of World Records for the smallest pub in Britain. As well as that, in this tiny pub, 102 people, and 1 dog, all managed to squeeze into the mini pub for a drink, which is what everyone needs after a long day of exploring the historic town of Bury St Edmunds! Unfortunately, many pubs have tried to become more miniature, trying to grab the World Record for the Smallest Pub in Britain. Fortunately for the Nutshell, if the title was ever taken away, the lively atmosphere and history is something which can’t quite be replicated. So, if you’re ever popping into Bury St Edmunds, make sure you stop off at The Nutshell to visit a pub with a Guinness World Record. 

If you’re interested in visiting the pub as well as all of the other attractions located around Suffolk, get in touch with us today to rent your perfect Barn or Barge for the occasion.