The Crooked House has been rebuilt - as a miniature model in the West Midlands

The Crooked House fan Mark Winterbottom has rebuilt the beloved ‘wonkiest pub’ that was burned down and demolished without permission

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A man left devastated after ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ was burned down and demolished has rebuilt the iconic landmark - as a miniature model.

Mark Winterbottom, 50, was left devastated when The Crooked House went up in flames on August 5 in a suspected arson attack. So he decided to reconstruct the pub ‘brick by brick’ entirely from memory in the form of a dolls house-size model.

The incredible replica which took him almost 30 hours features the landmark pub’s slanted look, Bank’s Ales signs as well a customer outside and a bench. It took Mark an entire week, working for between three and four hours a day, to build the 20ins (1.5ft) x 30ins (2.5ft) model using upcycled wood and polyfilla.

There have been calls for the historic 18th century pub in Himley, near Dudley, West Midlands, to be rebuilt so Mark said he thought he should do just that. Married Mark, of Wolverhampton, added: "I felt I had to do something, I’ve been there plenty of times drinking with friends and it was an iconic place.

"I did it mainly to give to a friend, who was a regular at the pub and lived around the corner from it. He was left devastated when it was burnt down. I was gutted but he watched it go up in flames and was heartbroken by its loss - so I’ve done it for him really.

Mark Winterbottom has recreated Crooked House Pub in miniature at home in WolverhamptonMark Winterbottom has recreated Crooked House Pub in miniature at home in Wolverhampton
Mark Winterbottom has recreated Crooked House Pub in miniature at home in Wolverhampton

"It took a lot of time to do. Having been there enough times you know it like the back of your hand, so it’s all been done from memory. It hasn’t cost me anything apart from my time as I used reclaimed and upcycled materials, like broken bits of dolls houses.

"I used a 3D printer for the bench and man and the whole thing is 1/12th the size of the original building and was rebuilt brick by brick. I just wanted to do something in tribute of a great pub and model building is a hobby of mine so it was the natural thing to do. I had been thinking of building The Crooked House before it burnt down so when it went up in flames I knew now was the time to do it."

After the model gained popularity on social media he has since been inundated with requests to build more replicas of the pub. He added: "I’m glad I seem to have made people smile after such a terrible thing happened to the pub.I’ve had people offering me silly money to build one for them but I don’t want to be seen to be cashing in on a tragedy. I might build one if a previous owner got in touch but for now I’m just doing this one for free as a gift for a friend."

The Crooked House pub in Himley, StaffordshireThe Crooked House pub in Himley, Staffordshire
The Crooked House pub in Himley, Staffordshire

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has called for the pub to be rebuilt while residents have also staged protest vigils at the site. The pub went up in flames in what Staffordshire Police are treating as an arson attack before it was bulldozed the next day just 36 hours later.

Mark added: "It’s been really sad to see it go and something needs to be done in future to stop anything like this happening again. There should be a by-law of some sorts which bans people developing on land where there has been an act of proved arson. Even if they did rebuild it, I’m sure it will never have the same feel. In a way I think it’s better to have loved and lost."

The Crooked House had attracted visitors from across the world due to its unique leaning effect which caused illusions including coins being able to ‘roll uphill’. The building was constructed in 1765 as a farmhouse but became a pub in the 1830s and was originally called ‘The Siden House’, meaning crooked in Black Country dialect.

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