Crooked House: Owners of historic pub near Dudley ordered to rebuild it following suspected arson

The Crooked House pub which was demolished after a fire in August. Credit: Nick Maslen/Alamy & Andy Cashmore

The owners of the Crooked House pub near Dudley have been ordered to rebuild it after the historic building was destroyed in a suspected arson attack.

Once known as "Britain's wonkiest" inn, the 258-year-old pub in Himley was reduced to rubble following a fire on 5 August 2023.

In a post on X, West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, praised South Staffordshire Council, adding: "An enforcement notice has been issued against the owners for its unlawful demolition.

"They have been ordered to rebuild the pub back to what it was before the fire - just as we’ve been lobbying for."

In a statement, South Staffordshire Council it had “engaged with the owners” since the demolition of the Crooked House pub, “but has reached a point where formal action is considered necessary”.

The enforcement notice served against the owners requires the building to be rebuilt by February 2027, the council said.

If work is not completed within the time limit, the local authority can prosecute for failure to comply with the notice, it added.

The owners of the site have 30 days to appeal the notice.

Mr Street also thanked the Save the Crooked House group, which has over 35,000 members, and has been campaigning for the last six months since the historic 18th-century pub burned down.

He said: "It would never have happened if it wasn’t for the tireless work of each and everyone one of you in this group.

"What you have done to keep the Crooked House at the forefront of people’s minds has been exceptional, and as Mayor I want to personally thank you all.

"I said at the time of the tragedy that the owners had messed with the wrong community, and you haven’t half proved that right."

Mr Street had previously called for the pub to be "rebuilt brick by brick" after bulldozers were sent in to demolish it.

Supporters argued that restoring the pub to its former glory was essential for preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the area.

An initiative was launched following the destruction of the iconic inn to help protect historic and cherished pubs in the area.

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) submitted five local pubs for Grade II listed status.

Six people have been arrested in connection with the fire. Staffordshire Police says the suspects currently remain on conditional police bail as the investigation continues.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…