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The Crooked House pub in Himley, West Midlands
Photograph: Stephen Clarke /

The legendary Crooked House pub is being rebuilt - and it’ll be just as wonky as before

The UK’s most crooked pub is BACK, baby!

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee

Think you’ve had a rough year? Let me tell you a story. It’s a tragic tale of betrayal, arson and a really, very wonky pub. 

Last year, we at Time Out kept up to date with the saga of the nearly 200-year-old Crooked House pub in the West Midlands. It was tossed between bidders before being sold, then it closed for business in August 2023. Since then it’s been set on fire, demolished, and ordered to be rebuilt ‘brick by brick’.

Let’s slow that down. On fire? Yep, the building was set ablaze on August 5. Six people were arrested on suspicion of arson, and that should’ve been it. The story could’ve ended there, with the potential bad-guys got and a local treasure ready to be salvaged from the ashes. But that was only the beginning.

Two days later, the building was demolished to the dismay of locals, and, importantly, the local council. The owner picked the wrong boozer to mess with, and a six-month long campaign began to have the pub rebuilt, wonk and all. Staffordshire district council has now swooped in to save the day, ordering that the Crooked House must be ‘built back to what it was prior to the fire’ within three years.

Who owns The Crooked House Pub?

ATE Farms, a local company connected to a landfill site near to the now-ruins of the pub, bought it last year just before it caught fire. The company’s landfill site also went up in flames in 2018. Someone must’ve been a witch in a past life, ’cause that’s very bad luck. 

Why is The Crooked House being rebuilt?

Local council leader Roger Lees expressed that they want to ‘bring the owners, who demolished the building without consent, to account’ and that they’re ‘committed to do what we can to get the Crooked House rebuilt.’ This sentiment was widely supported by local residents and West Midlands mayor Andy Street, who called it ‘fantastic work from [Staffordshire council].’

And that brings us back up to date. ATE Farms has 30 days to respond and contest the order. After that, failure to comply could result in legal action from the council.

Whether we will ever see The Crooked House’s famously slanted bar again is still unclear. But for now we can celebrate a win for the West Midlands and its people, and official proof that you don’t need a spirit level to build something great. 

Drinks with Time Out

We know all the best places to grab a pint. Whether you’re looking for somewhere wonky, straight edged, or somewhere in between, Time Out has you covered. We’ve got roundups of the best pubs in the country, some really gorgeous beer gardens, and even our favourite vineyards in the UK if you’re looking for some high-class fun.  

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