Heartbroken locals in Himley, West Midlands, are mourning the closing of their beloved boozer, the 18th-century The Crooked House – known globally as Britain’s most outlandishly skew-whiff pub!
Affectionately named for its mind-boggling design, with one side four foot lower than the other, The Crooked House has been a curious attraction for tourists from every corner of the globe. The peculiarly slanted structure has been playing tricks on the eyes of patrons for centuries – causing coins and marbles to appear as if they’re rolling uphill along the bar!
But now, the final bell has tolled on nearly two centuries of quirky quaffing as brewery Marston’s announced the sale of this lopsided landmark to a private buyer, with the intention of repurposing it for an undisclosed “alternative use”.
Starting life as a farmhouse back in 1765, it was transformed into a pub in the 1830s and ever since, folks have been gathering to gawk at the wonky walls that sit 4ft (1.2m) lower on one side. However, the funhouse of boozers was put up for sale earlier this year with a starting price of £675,000, causing locals to fear for its future. Their worst nightmares have now been confirmed.
Pub regular Derrick McConell, 65, of Dudley, who has frequented the place for over two decades, shared his sorrow, “It’s a sad day, it’s a brilliant pub and there’s no place like it elsewhere. This place was like a second home, all the regulars are lovely people and became like family to me. I am devastated.”
Many are expressing their shock and grief on social media, with comments like, “Another piece of history going. Many good memories The Crooked House holds for me.” and “Absolutely shocking, should stay open to the public, it’s a local treasure and historic place to enjoy food and drink with family friends. Honestly gutted.”
Originally known as ‘The Siden House’ – meaning crooked in local lingo – the pub gained its unusual effect from subsidence caused by mining back in the 1800s. But it seems that not even its status as one of the nation’s best pub attractions could save this historical hotspot from a sobering end.