The Crooked House is a charming 17th century half-timbered three story building on Palace Street in Canterbury, close to the famous Kings School. It is also known as Sir John Boys House in honour of Sir John Boys, the member of the Parliament who sat in the House of Commons several times in his lifetime.
The House is said to have inspired Charles Dickens who included a description of it in David Copperfield; “..a very old house bulging over the road…leaning forward, trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below…”. This inscription can be seen in gold letters over the skewed door.
According to an article published on Britain Express by editor David Ross: “The house reputedly gained its markedly skewed look after alterations to an internal chimney caused the structure to slip sideways. Attempts to rectify the slippage actually caused the whole structure to skew further sideways, though now the building is stabilised internally by a steel frame”.
A local charity for the homeless Catching Lives uses the premises of the Crooked House as second-hand bookshop. So after visiting the world-known Canterbury Cathedral when in Kent, do pay a visit to this unique bookshop!
1. David Copperfield, chapter 15