A Facebook page for the former pub posted a statement shortly after the fire, lamenting the loss of the heritage site.
“So after 10 months of hard work very long hours and constant obstacles it’s quite annoying to see your place of business end up like this … time effort gone, money gone, and one of the greatest buildings/oldest pub and heritage gone. All for the sake of money [sic],” the post said.
“I’ll let everyone else make their own conclusions on the recent events … again thanks for the messages of concern and support.”
While its interior was gutted, the pub’s facade and parts of the exterior remained standing, prompting officials to issue urgent calls for the structure to be rebuilt “brick by brick.”
In a co-authored letter to South Staffordshire Council on August 7, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street made a plea for the culturally and historically significant property to be rebuilt using as much original material as possible.
“We therefore ask you to consider ensuring the property is rebuilt brick by brick … before any further discussion about the future of the site takes place,” he wrote in the letter, which is published online.
“We would strongly ask you to consider not allowing any alternative use and instead keeping this iconic location as a pub. It is in all our interests that we do not allow the Crooked House pub to be consigned to history.”
However, any hopes of restoring the building were dashed on Monday night when the remaining structure was demolished in a possible breach of regulations that could trigger legal action.
A statement released by South Staffordshire Council leader Roger Lees said officers had agreed to remove parts of the first floor, to protect weak parts of the structure from falling, following a site visit.
“At no point did the council agree on the demolition of the whole structure, nor was this deemed necessary. This council finds the manner in which the situation was managed following the fire completely unacceptable and contrary to instructions provided by our officers,” Lees said.
“As such, we are currently investigating potential breaches of both the Town and Country Planning Act and the Buildings Act. We have referred these matters to our legal team with a view to taking enforcement action.”
Lees said the council was also consulting police about the unauthorised demolition of the heritage asset.
On social media, locals responding to the fire described it as “absolutely devastating” and “a crying shame”.
“We got married here in 2018, it would have been wonderful to share those memories and revisit again when our daughter was old enough to understand,” wrote Fiona Rumble. “A crying shame it’s gone.”
Another said the pub had been central to the heritage of the Black Country, the area of England’s Midlands where the pub was located.
“Worked here for years till recently doing wedding decor and entertainment, it’s so sad to see this happened. I’m sure they will find out what happened, but it won’t bring the place back,” wrote Liza Heaton.
A Marston’s spokesperson said the sale of the Crooked House pub was announced in January this year on the open market.
“It was well publicised, and it completed in July. 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.”
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https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/britain-s-wonkiest-pub-stood-for-260-years-now-it-s-a-pile-of-rubble-20230809-p5dv67.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_world Crooked House stood for 260 years. Now it’s a pile of rubble