Owners of the demolished Crooked House ordered to rebuild

Credit: The Crooked House

The owners of The Crooked House pub in Dudley, which was burnt down in a suspected arson attack and then demolished, have been ordered to rebuild it to its original form.

South Staffordshire Council has served an enforcement notice on the owners, after reaching a point where formal action was necessary. 

The pub, which was originally built in 1765, was sold by Marstons to a “private buyer for alternative use” in August and was “unlikely to open its doors again”.

But the landmark caught fire days later and was then demolished by its new landowner two days after the blaze, all whilst police said an investigation into the cause of the fire was ongoing. Six people have been arrested in connection with the fire and remain on bail. 

It was revealed the buyer was ATE Farms, which is registered to the same address as Himley Environmental – the company that runs the quarry and landfill next to the site.

The owners now have 30 days to appeal the notice, but if they do not comply within three years of the council’s order, they can be prosecuted. 

The leader of the council, Roger Lees, said: “We have not taken this action lightly, but we believe that it is right to bring the owners, who demolished the building without consent, to account and we are committed to do what we can to get the Crooked House rebuilt.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who has been campaigning for the pub to be rebuilt “brick by brick” said that it was a “monumental day” following the “determination of South Staffs Council and the relentlessness of campaigners…

“The owners messed with the wrong pub, the wrong community and the wrong authorities”. 

The pub, which began life as a farmhouse in 1765, started to sink on one side due to mining activity in the area and was ultimately named The Siden House 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.

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