Owners of demolished Crooked House pub propose rebuilding it on new site

<span>How the Crooked House pub looked before the fire and demolition.</span><span>Photograph: Nick Maslen/Alamy/PA</span>
How the Crooked House pub looked before the fire and demolition.Photograph: Nick Maslen/Alamy/PA

The owners of the former Crooked House pub, which was demolished after a suspected arson attack, have put forward a plan to rebuild it on a different site.

ATE Farms Ltd, the company that owned what was known as “Britain’s wonkiest inn”, has said that rebuilding the pub in the same spot would “not provide a sustainable community facility”.

The owners were ordered to rebuild it by South Staffordshire council in February.

ATE Farms said in appeal documents that it had a “genuine and practical” solution to rebuilding the Crooked House on a nearby plot of land also owned by the company.

The building began life as a farmhouse in 1765. After heavy mining in the area during the 19th century, one side of the building began to sink – creating its wonky demeanour.

The Crooked House caught fire on 5 August 2023 in a suspected arson attack. Staffordshire police made six arrests in connection with the blaze, but no one has been prosecuted. It was demolished days later.

In March, Stephen Levrant, who runs a heritage architecture firm, told the Guardian that rebuilding the inn would be “a bit of a monkey’s puzzle, with no right angles because everything is out of kilter and you’ve got gravity acting in a completely different way – it will have to be approached as if it was quite a sophisticated modern structure”.

ATE Farms said: “In its current location, should it be rebuilt, there is no doubt that there would be a huge amount of interest in the first few months, however, this does not translate to continued and sustained interest to make the building work as pub going forward.”

Rebuilding the inn at the proposed new location would give it “a real chance of success as a community asset”, the company said.

An appeal against the council’s order is due to be heard in July this year.