The Nutshell Pub – Bury Saint Edmunds, England - Atlas Obscura
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Bury Saint Edmunds, England

The Nutshell Pub

The smallest pub in Britain was once a cabinet of curiosities and it still has the dead cat to prove it. 

Located on a picture perfect English street corner, the self-proclaimed “smallest pub in Britain” is a cozy little watering hole that was once home to museum of sorts that showcased all manner of trinket and oddity, the legacy of which can still be seen today. 

Like many English pubs, the building that houses the historic bar dates back over a century. The pub itself likely dates back to 1867 when the former owner, a fruit seller, sold the space. After that the little storefront officially became The Nutshell in 1873. At first they called themselves a “museum of art and curiosities,” displaying everything from rare musical instruments to war relics. They also held a collection of models of local buildings and landmarks all made of cork. The space quickly moved into being primarily a bar after not long despite its cramped size.

The little bar consists solely of a single short bar that takes up a large portion of the central room. The rest of the small room has just enough room for patrons to stand or sit in the window wells. The bar still gets packed near to bursting on busy nights with the small crowd threatening to spill out into the street. One of the few remnants of the bar’s former life as a curio museum is the desiccated corpse of what seems to be a cat that clings to the light fixture overhead.