The Crooked House: Britain's 'wonkiest' watering hole is being rebuilt

The Crooked House pub near Dudley, England
The Crooked House pub near Dudley, England Copyright Jacob King/PA via AP
By Amber Louise BryceAP
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An 18th century British pub will be returned to its former leaning legacy following a fire and its subsequent demolition last year.

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The owners of a beloved British pub called The Crooked House have been ordered to rebuild it wonky by a local council.

A once popular watering hole for locals of the tiny English village of Himley in Staffordshire, the pub was mysteriously burned down in August last year, just two weeks after being sold to new owners, who then unlawfully bulldozed the pub two days later.

Three people were arrested and later released on conditional bail in connection with the fire, which Staffordshire Police is treating as arson.

Many local residents were upset by the 18th century building’s demolition, with more than 35,000 people joining the ‘Save The Crooked House (Let’s Get It Re-Built)’ Facebook page and actively campaigning for it to be reconstructed to its original lopsided structure.

In a statement, the South Staffordshire Council said it had “engaged with the owners” and now ordered the pub to be rebuilt “back to what it was prior to the fire" by February 2027 or face prosecution for failing to comply.

The notice was served on owners, Adam and Carly Taylor and the company secretary of ATE Farms Limited, which bought the inn. They have 30 days to appeal the notice.

“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,” Lees said.

Andy Street, the mayor of the wider West Midlands region who has supported the pub's reconstruction, welcomed the decision in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Fantastic work from South Staffordshire Council,” Street said.

What is The Crooked House and why is it wonky?

First built as a farmhouse in 1765, the building started sinking on one side as a result of extensive coal mining in the area, which is part of England's region widely known as the Black Country, a reference to its industrial and mining heyday in the mid-19th century. 

Around 1830, it became a pub and was called The Siden House — siden meaning crooked in the local dialect.

In the 1940s, it was renamed the Glynne Arms but was condemned as unsafe and scheduled for demolition until a forebear of Marston’s bought it and made it safe.

Renamed as The Crooked House, it became a tourist attraction, drawing visitors to admire its odd structure, one side standing about 1.2 meters (4 feet) lower than the other.

In three years' time, regulars will finally be able to return to the pub for some pints - but hopefully not so many that they leave feeling as lopsided as its walls.

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