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The Crooked House of Windsor- The 17 Century gravity defying house was a butcher-shop and a Tea Room, and now is up for sale

Most of the crooked houses are  intentionally designed as a gravity-defying structures to amaze and amuse. Well, the 400-year-old crooked house in Windsor stands wonky at the market square as a result of an unfortunate mistake. The Crooked House of Windsor was built back in 1592 at the edge  of Windsor’s marker square, originally known as Market Cross House.

The leaning posture is not the only interesting and mysterious feature of this 16th-century house, in the basement of the Crooked House, there is an arcane secret passage. Allegedly, the secret passage was used for illicit trysts between Nell Gwynn and  King Charles II. However, some say that the passage was used for delivering produce from the market to the kitchens of Windsor Castle, which is located close to the crooked house.

The crooked house
The crooked house.

Photo credit

The Market Cross House of Windsor had stood straight for almost 100 years until in 1687 the city council ordered the object to be demolished in order to make room for building the neighboring Guildhall. A bitter land dispute ensued over the property, and eventually the council got to cut loose by a court order and had to rebuild the Market Cross house and make the Guildhall its present size.

The Market Cross House was hastily rebuilt  in a careless rather ” wonky” way with an unseasoned green oak. Therefore, the market cross leaned towards earth and became known as The Crooked House of Windsor.

Photo credit

Originally, the Crooked House was originally a butcher shop, but as the centuries have changed the businesses in the  tilted house as well changed. From jewelry through a brewery to an antique shop The Crooked House of Windsor saw a plethora of business come and go.

The crooked house in its changing colors
The crooked house in its changing colors

But the businesses were not the only thing that has been constantly changing in the Crooked House, it has been a multitude of colors over time, from perky purple through pale yellow to black and white as it is now.


The last business that found a place in this extraordinary old house was a Tea shop. For the last 30 years, visitors would go in the Tea Room and have a cup of tea or lunch before or after visiting the castle. However, as of January 2015, the tea shop went out of business and  was closed. The latest news about the iconic building is that it has been put on sale for a  £1.5 million.

The building  is listed as ‘class A3 premises’ meaning that  it can be used for “the sale of food or drink for consumption on the premises or of hot food for consumption off the premises”.

 “We work with many different types of property throughout the Thames Valley but it’s always good to market such unusual and character-filled buildings like Market Cross house. David Pearce, chartered surveyor for Kempton Carr Croft  told AOL“We are looking forward to finding the right purchaser or occupier on behalf of our client.” he added.

As for us, we cannot wait to see what next this quirky house will be.


Ian Smith

Ian Smith is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News