As the investigation continues into how the 258-year-old Crooked Pub burned down, questions around the much-loved public house remains.
The fire at the pub, once branded Britain's "wonkiest", took place on Saturday 5 August 2023 and then the building was demolished just two days later, which South Staffordshire Council said was done without permission.
Staffordshire Police confirmed they were treating the fire as arson, and on Thursday, 24 August, two men were arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.
How did the Crooked House become crooked?
The building was a farmhouse in 1765 on an estate later owned by the Glynne family - Glynne Arms would become the original name of the pub.
Mining beneath the building caused one side of the building to begin sinking until one end was four feet lower than the other, creating the beloved leaning appearance. The building was later turned into a pub in the 1830s.
Soon its appearance gained popularity and it became known as Crooked House or Siden House – in Black Country dialect, 'siden' means 'side-in' or crooked – and was officially renamed in 2002.
Who owns the Crooked House?
The Crooked House pub is reportedly owned by Carly Taylor from Lutterworth, Leicestershire. The businesswoman manages AT Contracting and Plant Hire Ltd, which bought the pub from Marston's brewery.
The fire came days after it emerged Marston's had sold The Crooked House to a 'private buyer for alternative use'.
What has the council said about the situation?
South Staffordshire Council said the demolition of The Crooked House in Dudley was "not agreed or deemed necessary".
Council leader, Roger Lees, said the manner in which the situation was managed following the fire was "completely unacceptable".
He says: "The agreed course of action included the removal of three elements of the first-floor front elevation only. This was only to avoid the weak parts of the structure from falling.
"At no point did the council agree the demolition of the whole structure nor was this deemed necessary."
Mr Lees says the situation following the fire was "completely unacceptable" and "contrary to instructions" provided by their officers.
The Council says they are now investigating potential breaches of both the Town and Country Planning Act and the Buildings Act. They have now referred these matters to their legal team "with a view to taking enforcement action."
They've added that, "While we are investigating the incident and considering our legal options, we will not be commenting on any element of the ongoing investigation that may potentially prejudice any enforcement action we may pursue.
Likewise, we are not in a position to comment on any speculation about any future plans for the Crooked House but when there are further updates will provide them in due course.”
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