This is stop 08 on the Walking for Heritage route. It is near the Custard Factory and the old Lloyd’s Bank – it is in fact over the road from the latter, on the corner of Heath Mill Lane/High Street Deritend.
A real gem, this! I love it, I love walking past it, I love looking at it!
The Old Crown is indeed very old – it dates back to the 1300s but most of it is actually 16th century in age. It was possibly built for intended use as a guildhall, which would make it the first school in Birmingham. It is white and black timber framed and the top floor overhangs the bottom. There is a courtyard (beer garden!) to the rear and it looks almost like old stables – I was going to ask at the bar but I chickened out. Given the location, it is a strange building but then I suppose Birmingham grew around it, not the other way around!
I found an architects drawing whilst researching this blog post. It’s really interesting to see how much it hasn’t changed! There are also some old photos and information here.
The Old Crown has upstairs rooms and is also a B&B – I can’t seem to get on the website at the moment but when I can I’ll update this post.
When I was doing the walk, I went inside for a quick look. It feels like a proper pub - low ceilings, big oak tables, fires. There are pictures on the walls and the tables have key dates from history burnt into them.