'We can't save the Crooked House': Rebuilding landmark pub would be 'costly endeavour', museum says

11 August 2023, 20:52 | Updated: 11 August 2023, 21:34

Rebuilding the pub would be a 'huge endeavour', the museum said.
Rebuilding the pub would be a 'huge endeavour', the museum said. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

A museum known for rebuilding historical sites has said it will not be able to save the landmark pub.

aThe Black Country Living Museum has said that rebuilding the Crooked House would be a very “costly endeavour” amid calls to save the pub.

Adam and Carly Taylor recently bought "Britain's wonkiest pub", which was gutted in a fire police are treating with arson on Saturday then demolished without permission.

Strong calls to rebuild the pub have been backed by West Midlands mayor Andy Street, who said it should be put back together brick by brick.

The West Midlands mayor urged local residents to avoid taking items from the site on Friday as, he said: "The kindest thing you can do is leave the site alone so that the investigations can continue and then as much material is there as possible for any potential rebuild."

After the blaze, a Facebook group called for the historic 18th-century site to be rebuilt was set up, which has attracted more than 10,000 members.

But Black Country Living Museum (BCLM), an open-air museum which displays a number of rebuilt historical buildings, has said it cannot “save, let alone relocate, the building”.

“It’s a very complicated and costly endeavour and that’s one of the reasons we’re not in a position to just suddenly drop everything and go and get the Crooked House,” Andrew Lovett, the chief executive of the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM), said according to The Guardian.

Read more: Couple who bought Crooked House weeks before it was destroyed previously stripped out other village's only pub

Read more: 'A national scandal': Campaigners demand protection for pubs after destruction and demolition of Crooked House

Andy Street urged locals to avoid taking items from the site on Friday.
Andy Street urged locals to avoid taking items from the site on Friday. Picture: Alamy

The BCLM is situated roughly four miles from the site of the former pub.

Detectives are treating the blaze at the pub as arson. There were suggestions people had been partying inside before the fire though police said nobody was inside when the fire broke out. There is no suggestion that the Taylors are accused of any wrongdoing.

Police are "engaging" with the couple but they have not been identified as suspects.

It comes after campaigners have called for legal changes to protect pubs after the destruction and demolition of the Crooked House, which they have called a "national scandal".

The Campaign for Pubs said the "appalling" case of the 18th-century site was evidence of "predatory purchasing and asset-stripping of historic pubs" which should be banned.

The Campaign for Pubs has now written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urging a change to planning law which would prevent pubs aged 50 years or older from being sold for alternative use, converted or demolished until they had been marketed as a pub for at least a year.

Greg Mulholland, campaign director of the Campaign for Pubs, said: "What has happened to the historic and unique Crooked House pub is a national scandal, as well as a loss to the local community and its history and heritage.

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