The Old Crown in Digbeth, Birmingham, to celebrate its 655th birthday in style - here’s how

The oldest pub in Birmingham, The Old Crown, turns 655 this September, and this year’s birthday party is set to be bigger and better than ever

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The iconic Old Crown on Digbeth High Street is Birmingham’s oldest non-secular building, and has fought off attacks during the First Civil War from Prince Rupert’s forces.

It’s also the only structure still standing after the Battle of Birmingham at Camp Hill in 1643. Additionally, the pub has been host to royalty, with Queen Elizabeth I staying there on her way home from Kenilworth Castle in 1575. The pub prides itself on celebrating its heritage, with many parts of the original building, including its black & white timber frame, still standing to this day.

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A whopping 655 years later, The Old Crown is celebrated as one of Birmingham’s best pubs - with two beer gardens and hundreds of events all year round, including #DigbethStPats celebrations and their annual Summer Programme. Events on this year’s agenda have included a summer street food festival, takeovers from local brands like The Night Owl and Broke N Bone BBQ, celebrity quizzes from The Chase and plenty more.

And on Friday, September 8, as part of Birmingham Heritage Week, the pub is launching a brand new historical exhibition, curated by Birmingham Award-winning author and historian Professor Carl Chinn MBE. It includes unseen photos of the pub from its Medieval roots to the present day, as well as insights into the struggles and successes of its nearly 700 year history. Professor Chinn will also be hosting a historical talk at The Old Library on September 8, launching the exhibition and detailing his findings.

The Old Crown in Digbeth, Birmingham, in 1937The Old Crown in Digbeth, Birmingham, in 1937
The Old Crown in Digbeth, Birmingham, in 1937

But it wouldn’t be an Old Crown birthday without a huge party, and on Saturday, September 9, the pub is hosting some amazing street food in the garden, as well as live music from Simon Jnr.  Additionally, the venue will be serving up their delicious everyday menu.

The owner of the pub, Ciaran Healy, had this to say: “Another year has gone by and I’m so excited to be celebrating another birthday with The Old Crown! This year we’re focusing on the rich history of Birmingham’s oldest pub, and I can’t wait to hear about Professor Chinn’s findings during our Birmingham Heritage Week exhibition.”

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Both The Old Crown’s 655th birthday party and the historical exhibition are free entry. Free tickets to #OC655 can be reserved here. Paid tickets for An Evening with Carl Chinn - Exploring the History of Birmingham’s Oldest Pub can be purchased here.

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