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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Well, whaddya know?

I've been living in the city which boasts the country's oldest secular building for the best part of a year now, and I never even knew about it.

The building in question is called The Old Crown, and it's been standing since circa 1368. Wikipedia's article on the building has this to say about it,

The Old Crown at 188 High Street (A41), Deritend, an inn, is the oldest secular building in Birmingham, England.

It is Grade II* listed, and dates back to circa 1368, retaining its "black and white" timber frame, although almost all of the present building dates from the early 16th century. It is thought to have been originally built as the Guildhall and School of St. John, Deritend. Heated skirmishes were fought around the building when Prince Rupert's forces raided Birmingham during the English Civil War.

It is a few paces from the Custard Factory media and arts complex, and just under a mile from Birmingham city centre.

The Crown's best years were in the eighties into the early nineties under the stewardship of Ted and Margaret Jones. They came from a tradition of East End London boxers, and the pub was usually packed to capacity every night during their tenure. Although extensive renovations were completed by the new owners, it is felt that some of the spirit of the pub died once the Jones' family left it.

It even has its own web site.

Fancy that. I must go take a photo or two of it when I'm next down in Digbeth :) Speaking of which, I got some rather good panoramic shots today, it was beautifully sunny and hardly a grey cloud in the sky (only the wispy, stratospheric clouds which do nothing but look nice) so I'll have to stitch those together and pop them up.

That's all for now - don't forget to tune in next time, same bat place, same bat channel.

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