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The Old Crown, Digbeth - Beer garden / carpark | by ell brown
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The Old Crown, Digbeth - Beer garden / carpark

This is The Old Crown at 188 High Street, Deritend, an inn, the oldest building left in Birmingham.


It is Grade II* listed. It claims to date back to 1368, retaining its "black and white" timber frame, although most of the buildings date from the 16th century. It is believed it was constructed between 1450 and 1500, with some evidence dating back to 1492 (the same year the Saracen's Head in Kings Norton was completed).


In 1538 someone called Leyland noted that it was a Mansion House of Timber.


Skermishes were fought nearby during the English Civil War when Prince Rupert's forces invaded Birmingham.


The building was converted into two houses in 1684, and into three in 1693. It remained three houses into the 19th century.


In 1851 the Old Crown was saved from demolition by Joshua Toulmin Smith, and again in 1856 and 1862, by the corporation, and Smith saved it each time.


All the first floor windows date from the 19th century.


The Old Crown - Heritage Gateway


The Old Crown - official website


The Old Crown Inn was built in the late 15th century by the Guild of St John the Baptist of Deritend, one of the two guilds in Birmingham, religious orders to which only the town's richest citizens could belong. Such guilds flourished as a link between the church and secular society, and as well as spiritual support provided members with a form of social security and welfare benefit. This building was originally the Guildhall, where members of the guild met and prayed, and was also a school for the children of the guild members. The Guildhall was timber-built, infilled with wattle and daub, and the original ground floor contains a large meeting hall and smaller master's room. The building was turned into an inn in the 19th century, and has recently been restored.


Above info from Walks Through History: Birmingham by John Wilks

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Taken on October 10, 2009