A man in his thirties from Bucks was one of two people arrested on suspicion of arson after a fire at a beloved 18th-century pub.

A fire was reported at the Crooked House pub in Himley in the West Midlands at 10:45pm on Saturday, August 5, before the historic building was controversially demolished without council permission less than 48 hours later.

A 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes and a 66-year-old man from Dudley have been arrested by Staffordshire Police on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and are being held in custody for questioning while the investigation continues.

The Crooked House pub, which was famous for its wonky structure, created by mining-related subsidence, had been sold by brewer Marston’s to a private buyer, ATE Farms Ltd, just two weeks before its demolition.

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Historic England also revealed that it received a request to add the Crooked House pub to its listed buildings register just days before the blaze took hold.

South Staffordshire Council has said it will closely monitor any further work at the pub after securing an agreement that bricks and foundations will be kept at the site.  

The fire sparked immediate backlash from campaigners, some of whom staged a sit-down protest on Monday after heavy machinery was moved onto the site amid claims that asbestos checks were taking place. 

A spokesperson for the regional police force said: “We continue to appeal to anyone with any information which could help us to get in touch. Call 101, quoting incident 761 of August 5 or message us using Live Chat on our website – www.staffordshire.police.uk.

“You can also report anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”