The Crooked House: Fire which gutted historic pub dubbed a ‘tragedy’ as investigation continues


A fire which gutted a historic pub days after it was sold to a private buyer has been described as a “tragedy”.

The Crooked House, in Himley, West Midlands, was heavily damaged after the blaze at 10.45pm on Saturday.

The fire comes just two weeks after the building, which opened as a pub in the 18th century, was sold by brewer Marston’s to a private buyer.

In a tweet, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said that there were questions to answer over the incident.

He said: “A lot of questions surrounding the Crooked House fire that 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.”

Six fire crews from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue and the West Midlands Fire Service attended the incident.

No one was injured in the fire, the cause of which is now being investigated by police and fire investigators.

Marston’s said that the building had been on the open market since January this year.


A spokesperson for the company said: “The sale of the Crooked House, as a going concern, was announced in January this year on the open market.

“It was well-publicised and completed two weeks ago.

“We are shocked and disappointed to learn about the fire which has caused so much damage to a landmark building which is so well known in the area.”

Lord Ian Austin, an independent peer and former Labour MP for Dudley North, tweeted on Sunday that “the lane to the pub [was] apparently blocked” during the blaze, and urged the emergency services to “investigate and prosecute”.

A petition to keep the Crooked House open had gained more than 8,800 signatures, of which almost 4,000 came on Monday.

Paul Turner, who started the initiative, said prior to the blaze that it would be a “tragedy if this wonderful tourist attraction is lost” and that selling or demolishing the site “would mean the loss of this iconic and beautiful building”.

The building has stood on the site since the 1760s, with one side sinking several feet lower than the other due to a mining subsistence.

It became a pub in around 1830, and according to Mr Turner was known as The Siden House, with “siden” meaning “crooked” in the local Black Country dialect.

Staffordshire Police has urged anyone with information which could help the investigation to contact the force on 101, quoting incident number 761 of August 5.