Investigation launched into Crooked House blaze

Credit: The Crooked House

Staffordshire Police are appealing for information after a fire began late Saturday evening at The Crooked House in Himley, near Dudley.

Last week, former owner Marston’s sold The Crooked House to a “private buyer for alternative use” and was “unlikely to open its doors again”.

But officers were called to a blaze at the pub on Himley Road at 10:45pm on Saturday evening. No one was believed to be inside the building and no one has been reported injured.

The pub, which was originally built in 1765 as a farmhouse, began to sink on one side due to mining activity in the area and was named The Siden House pub in 1930, with siden meaning crooked.

In the 1940s the pub was set for demolition due to safety concerns, but the Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries purchased the site and added buttresses to make the structure safe. It’s been known as The Crooked House ever since.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said six crews from both Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire Service had been tackling the fire on Saturday.

The police are now working with fire investigators to establish its cause.

In an update on Facebook, The Crooked House’s landlord wrote: “So after 10 months of hard work very long hours and constant obstacles it’s quite annoying to see your place of business end up like this … time effort gone, money gone, and one of the greatest buildings / oldest pub and heritage gone.

“All for the sake of money. I’ll let everyone else make their own conclusions on the recent events…”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said on Twitter: “A lot of questions surround the Crooked house fire the need answering, and I’m sure the authorities will get to the truth.

“Today all we can say is what a tragedy, and I sincerely hope this iconic Black Country landmark can be restored and preserved.”

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