If you’re in search of the eccentric, unusual and offbeat in the UK then you need look no further than the Crooked House bar, pub and restaurant in Gornalwood, Himley, near Dudley in England. When you first arrive and see the tilting structure you might be forgiven for wondering if you’d already had a few to drink. The Crooked House Dudley lives up to its name and leans alarmingly to the left. A quick measurement suggests an angle of about 16 degrees which is at least twice that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It started life as a farmhouse around 1765 and was later converted into a public ale house called the Sidden Arms in 1830 to help ease the thirst of the local miners and farm workers. For some years the left side of the building had been sinking due to excessive mining of coal underneath its foundations. Sidden means crooked in the local Black Country dialect. According to the owners, one side has sunk by about 1.2 meters. For many years and since around 1800 a series of efforts were made to stabilise he building with dubious success.
Located on the boundary of the lands once owned by Himley Hall near Dudley, UK, it was renamed the Glynne Arms in respect of the local landowner, Sir Stephen Glynne, during the mid 1800’s. The new owners were quick to capitalise on its uniqueness and it was even featured on postcards and promoted as a tourist attraction as early as 1830. The pub is at the end of a narrow lane which for many years was little more than a cart track but is now tarmac. Watch out for the narrow brick tunnel and a couple of sharp corners. An old Dudley ‘serie’ crooked house rhyme translated from the local dialect went:
“Come in and have some home brewed ale, and stop as long as you are able, at a pub they call the Sidden House, where the beer runs up the table.”
Shortly after the end of WW II the house was condemned as not safe and closed to the public.
Fortunately the building was stabilised and restored by a local company, Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries. The foundations were pinned and three large buttresses built to shore up the sinking walls. It apparently hasn’t moved in years and is now quite safe again. Never-the-less it is constantly monitored and tiny glass filaments are positioned over any cracks to check for movement. If they break it will mean the pubs shifting again.
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Fieldhouse Lane, Romsley, Halesowen
West Midlands, England, B62 0NH
+44 (0)1562 710 015
- Address: The Crooked House, Coppice Hill, Himley, Staffordshire, England, United Kingdom, DY3 4DA
- GPS: 52.51508889,-2.152383333
- Phone: 0044 (0)1384 238 583
- Part of UK: England
- Sat Nav Postcode: DY3 4DA
- Entrance Fees: Free Entry
- Disabled Access: Limited by stairs and angled doors
- Visibility from Road: Very Good
- Image Credits: Header Image: Paul Vincent