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Owners of Britain’s ‘wonkiest pub’ that burned down in ‘arson attack’ are now accused of tearing down 20ft-tall trees, ripping up orchids and destroying wildlife in ‘mini personal New Forest’ after gutting ANOTHER popular village boozer


Residents have accused the owners of ‘Britain’s wonkiest pub’ of tearing down 20ft tall trees and destroying wildlife as part of plans to develop two former quarries. 

Adam Taylor and his wife Carly owned the Crooked House in Himley, Staffordshire when a major blaze broke out over the weekend – just days after the 18th-century inn was sold to them. 

The couple have previously caused anger among locals after it emerged that they had bought and allegedly gutted another traditional pub in the Warwickshire village of Willey. 

Now they have been subject to a slew of allegations from residents near their home in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, for destroying wildlife and ripping out mature trees and hedges in two rural areas before submitting any planning applications. 

One resident from Dunton Bassett said the former quarry land near their village had been like ‘a mini personal New Forest’, with 20ft trees and wild orchids, which was later destroyed after the Taylors bought the land and destroyed the landscape.

Adam Taylor and his wife Carly owned the Crooked House in Himley, Staffordshire when a major blaze broke out over the weekend (the couple are pictured together) 

Adam Taylor, 44, plant hire boss and a shareholder and former director at Himley Environmental, also owns the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn,

Locals lodged complaints against plans to build a 35-acre solar farm, along with 33 holiday lodges, at the Slip Inn quarry, Dunton Bassett. 

One resident who wrote to Harborough district council objecting to the plans for the solar farm said the ‘attitude to managing the countryside is wilfully dangerous and chaotic’. 

They added that ‘the village was lucky to survive his [Mr Taylor’s] carelessness’.

Plans for the solar farm were submitted through letting and real estate firm ATE Farms Ltd, which is controlled by former nail technician Mrs Taylor, 34, from Lutterworth, Leicestershire. The proposals are still being considered by the council. 

Meanwhile, plans to develop a second site into equestrian, angling and leisure facilities, which have now been approved, came under fire from locals for causing the ‘unnecessary’ destruction of woodland.

One wrote in public documents on the council website: ‘They went in with heavy machinery and destroyed the whole woodland,’ while another added: ‘I see he says ‘sorry’ in his new application. Words are easy, the damage is for ever. How can you trust this applicant and what he puts forward?’

According to the Times, the Taylors also offered to buy a farm neighbouring one of the former quarries for £1million, adding that no borrowing would be required.

ATE Farms bought the pub from brewery Marston’s and is registered to the same address as Himley Environmental, which runs a 37-acre quarry and landfill site next to the Crooked House pub, which burnt down on Saturday August 5. 

Mrs Taylor’s 44-year-old husband, a plant hire boss and a shareholder and former director at Himley Environmental, also owns the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn, a pub in the Warwickshire village of Willey around five miles away from their home.

Mr Taylor bought the pub in 2020 and is said to have ripped out the interior, before council planners issued a ‘stop notice’ to prevent any further works. It is now closed.

Adam Taylor, 44, is a plant hire boss who also owns the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn, a pub in the Warwickshire village of Willey. It is pictured now (left) and before its closure (right)

The interior of the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn in Willey, Warwickshire, pictured yesterday

The Sarah Mansfield Country Inn pub has been undergoing a conversion led by Adam Taylor

Adam Taylor bought the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn in Willey, Warwickshire, in 2020

A side view of the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn in Willey which is currently closed

The disused car park of the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn in Willey, pictured yesterday

A sign warning of CCTV camera surveillance at the Sarah Mansfield Country Inn in Willey

He subsequently submitted a planning application to convert the first floor of the pub to six letting bedrooms, while restoring the ground floor to a pub and building two houses in the rear car park.

Britain’s ‘wonkiest pub’ where coins rolled UP the bar before being destroyed by fire: How Staffordshire venue The Crooked House sunk 4ft into ground due to mine subsidence

A wonky historic 18th-century pub that burned down last week was famed the world over for its baffling appearance and optical illusions that saw coins and marbles appear to roll up the bar.

The Crooked House in Himley, Staffordshire, attracted tourists from across the world and was a popular wedding venue.

Prior to its destruction, the venue was often described as Britain’s wonkiest pub, sitting 4ft lower on one side than the other.

The Crooked House pub, pictured in 1907 

It was first built as a farmhouse in 1765, but gradually sank into the ground on one side due to subsidence from mining works carried out in the 1800s.

It was converted into a pub in around 1830 and was first known as The Siden House – ‘siden’ being Black Country dialect for ‘crooked’.

It was later renamed the Glynne Arms after Sir Stephen Glynne, a brother-in-law of Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, who owned the land on which the tavern stood.

While the Glynne Arms name remained above the door into the 1970s, the pub had acquired a more affectionate nickname among locals by then – the ‘Crooked House’, which was later adopted as the formal moniker.

Inside, drinkers might have been convinced they had one too many before they had even sipped their first pint – because while the floors and fixtures such as the bars and seats were level, the ceilings, walls and windows were not.

A picture postcard from the early 1900s shows marbles appearing to roll up the bar

A mind-boggling optical illusion known as a ‘gravity hill’ meant that coins and marbles appear to roll uphill when placed on slightly downhill surfaces that were sitting at a less jaunty angle than the rest of the pub.

Picture postcards of the era – a popular way for visitors to show families back home where they were visiting in the years before photography was commonplace – made much of the pub’s quirks.

Many are captioned ‘The Crooked House’, while one even features a table of well-dressed country gentlemen marvelling at a marble appearing to roll up their table.

The pub had been threatened with closure in the 1940s after it was deemed unsafe. By this time, one side of the building had sunk a full 4ft into the ground, despite the owners installing buttresses to stop it from slipping any further.

Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries then purchased the building, reinforcing the supports with girders, and it remained open until earlier this year when the same brewer – now known as Marston’s – announced that it was closing it as part of a cost-cutting regime.

The brewing giant said it was selling off 61 locations to ‘maximise returns from our core estate’.

The Crooked House went on the market in January with a guide price of £675,000 and was sold last month to ATE Farms Limited, a company controlled by Carly Taylor, 34.

Rugby Borough Council had approved a request by villagers to protect the Sarah Mansfield as ‘an asset of community value’ in March 2021, but an appeal then overturned the decision.

One local resident told MailOnline that the ‘ruthless’ businessman bought the Sarah Mansfield with ‘the intention of gutting in and turning it into rental accommodation’.

The woman, who declined to be named for fear of recrimination, said: ‘The new owner did just that, he bought it and in two to three days he got his team of workers in, the skips were in place, and they gutted it.

‘They ripped out everything to the outrage and upset from local people – the plaster, the plumbing, the electrics, it is a shell.

‘He sought planning permission to create rental rooms and claimed he would keep part of the premises as a pub but we don’t think that was ever his intention.

‘He wanted to cash in with rentals, and build two new houses in the car park. 

‘All the villagers objected, there are only around 20 of us, but the pub was the heart of our village, it was thriving and attracted outside visitors too, and he ripped that out.’

A fellow villager added: ‘We know Mr Taylor by reputation and when we heard it was his new Crooked House pub bulldozed, it was a weird feeling of déjà vu.

‘He comes into communities and wrecks them, with no regard to local people, and for his own profit and gain.

‘The guy is absolutely minted from all his business deals, he has a crew of people running around for him 24/7 who no doubt he rewards well, but how much more money does he really need to make?

‘We heard he struck lucky by selling off landfill sites he owned in the West Midlands for the HS2 scheme, and he got a small fortune from the Government venture.

‘He has become a force to be reckoned with, people are scared of him and the authorities seem to bow to him. It is outrageous that one man and his wife can yield so much power.

‘What he is doing to local communities, ripping down well-known pubs for development and his greed, is outrageous and the authorities should put a stop to it.

‘He does whatever he wants to do and seems to get away with it. We’ve heard he’s worth a shed load of money. He drives around in a Bentley with personalised plates.’

Drinkers at The Barn pub – two miles away from the Sarah Mansfield – where Mr Taylor was a regular until he was barred, told MailOnline the ‘super rich’ self-styled entrepreneur charmed everyone he met, with one adding: ‘He was always as nice as pie if you treated him properly.

‘Even if he doesn’t know you, if you give him the time of day, he’ll buy you a drink or two and seems a really nice guy. He’s been lucky in a lot of places with business. 

‘He’d often drink in his local pub. His wife would drive him here in the Bentley, leave him for a while, and then pick him up. She would never come in with him.’

They added that he would never leave a tab and ‘paid everything upfront in cash’.

A regular at the pub said: ‘He has been barred from this place. 

‘He would always turn up with an entourage of people, with an ‘I’m better than you’ attitude.

‘He once told the boss that he needed to have ‘Belvoir Vodka or I won’t come back’. He was that arrogant. The boss informed him: ‘We don’t stock that so don’t come back. You’re barred!”

The Times reported today that Harborough District Council in Leicestershire last month approved the Taylors’ application to build 21 holiday homes at their farm despite objections over local traffic concerns.

The Taylors have not yet commented on any matters since the fire broke out at the weekend.

The intercom went unanswered at the couple’s gated home yesterday.

But a Staffordshire Police spokesman said officers had ‘spoken to, and continue to engage with’ the owners of the Crooked House.

He added that the force’s joint investigation with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service had so far been unable to determine the cause of the blaze.



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Owners of Britain’s ‘wonkiest pub’ that burned down in ‘arson attack’ are now accused of tearing down 20ft-tall trees, ripping up orchids and destroying wildlife in ‘mini personal New Forest’ after gutting ANOTHER popular village boozer

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