Inside Britain’s ‘wonkiest pub’ which is up for sale amid fears it could be closed
A boozer dubbed ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ is going up for sale amid fears it could be closed for good after 192 years.
The Crooked House, in Himley, Dudley, West Midlands, has attracted visitors from across the world.
Bartenders often leave customers amazed with an optical illusion trick where coins and marbles seemingly roll uphill along the bar.
The ‘leaning boozer of Himley’ was built in 1765 as a farmhouse but became a pub in the 1830s with people flocking to see how one side is 4ft lower than the other.
But the unlikely tourist attraction now faces an uncertain future after brewers Marston’s announced it was being sold – just months after undergoing a makeover.
The Crooked House, in Himley, Dudley, West Midlands, is dubbed Britain’s wonkiest pub
The leaning boozer of Himley was built in 1765 as a farmhouse but became a pub in the 1830s with people flocking to see how one side is 4ft lower than the other
Inside, it’s windows and walls all appear crooked due to a bizarre effect through subsidence caused by mining in the 1800s. The pub is now being sold to punters amid fears it could close
The Crooked House is one of 61 pubs which the group revealed would be sold off after a review of its UK estate.
The news comes amid plans to shut scores of boozers nationwide by pub firm Wetherspoon.
Locals are now worried the popular lopsided pub could be closed for good unless a suitable buyer is found.
Derrick McConell, 64, of Dudley, who has drank in the pub for more than 20 years, said the venue had struggled to get back on its feet following the pandemic.
He added: ‘It’s a brilliant pub but it’s had its issues like most despite it being such a unique place.
‘I know they struggled following Covid and then had to fork out money on renovations.
Bartenders often leave customers amazed with an optical illusion trick where coins and marbles seemingly roll uphill along the bar
The Crooked House is one of 61 pubs which brewers Marston’s revealed would be sold off after a review of its UK estate. Regulars are desperate for it to be saved and say it is popular with visits from across the globe who pop in to see its unusual layout
‘Because these old buildings require a lot of upkeep, I know a lot of the regulars are worried it won’t get taken on. We genuinely fear for its future now.
‘It would be a shame to lose it because there’s no place like it elsewhere.’
Originally called ‘The Siden House’, meaning crooked in Black Country dialect – the pub got its bizarre effect through subsidence caused by mining in the 1800s.
People from as far as America, Australia, Japan, China, New Zealand have travelled to have a pint at the Black Country boozer over the years.
Pub-goers often say they feel like they’ve had one too many before they’ve even touched a drop when they stagger through the slanted front door.
The odd structure is kept standing as a result of being propped up by buttresses made of bricks and metal bars.
The crooked nature of the pub has attracted punters for decades, with walls, doorways and windows all appearing slanted
Derrick McConell, 64, of Dudley, who has drank in the pub for more than 20 years, said the venue had struggled to get back on its feet following the pandemic
Another regular, Jim Knowlson, 54, added: ‘For me, it’s a great chance for somebody to breath new life into it.
‘We’re concerned for its future as we’ve seen so many pubs around here close for good. But this place is very special, it has to be saved for future generations.
‘This is a chance to own what has been called Britain’s wonkiest pub and Britain’s drunkest pub. Surely there’s some appeal there. Its a piece of history.’
Wolverhampton-based Marston’s is selling the pub alongside dozens of other ‘non-core properties’.
They will be available to purchase individually, in small groups or as a group package.
The quirky entrance to the Crooked House, which brewers Marston’s is now looking to sell off
Judith Rafique, head of estates at Marston’s, said: ‘Following a routine review of our estate we have taken the decision to offer to market a varied range of property types.
‘This enables us to focus on our strategic objectives and maximise returns from our core estate.’
Noel Moffitt, senior director at Christie & Co, the business property advisers managing the sale, added: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for individuals and multiple operators to acquire established successful public houses across England and Wales.
‘The pub sector has been very resilient over the last few years and has adapted well to the challenges and despite interest in the sector there is a lack of properties on the market.