Fire at derelict Rising Sun pub affecting traffic on A5

Image by old pal of there blog, Richard Burnell.

Thanks to Facebook pals and others, I can let you know that the derelict Rising Sun pub on the A5 Watling Street at Brownhills West is currently suffering a fire (3:45pm, Wednesday 4th October 2017).

West Midlands Fire Service are in attendance as are West Midlands Police.

There are several reports now online from media outlets – Walsall Advertiser/Brum Mail here  and the Express and Star here. I see local history sites getting a hammering there… Traffic is still gridlocked at 5:40pm.

Video from Burntwood and Cannock Chase Community First Responders

The old pub is owned by a local company, based in Norton, and is not despite what many people think, listed, nor does it seem to be of particular historic interest.

It seems the site has been recently targeted by vandals.

My best wishes to the emergency services. More news when I have it.

Video posted on Facebook by Chanel Bishop

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17 Responses to Fire at derelict Rising Sun pub affecting traffic on A5

  1. Wilkin Wilf says:

    The building may not have been of historic interest, but it’s still a shame to see yet another once-thriving pub turned to ashes. And there had been a pub there for a long time

    • I couldn’t agree more, you’re quite right.

      At the moment, there are an awful lot of people making baseless statements about the listing status of the pub, and the circumstances of this incident.

      The pub had a great social history, but in architectural terms it was not historically significant – that’s what I meant. To be fair, if you had some of the messages and emails I’d received over the last 24 hours you’d see where I was coming from.

      Any loss of a pub and it’s social history is a tragedy.

      Cheers
      Bob

  2. Kay Torne says:

    I was very saddened to hear the news about the Rising Sun Hotel as I remember it back in the day. I spent many a ‘happy hour’ in that establishment, only a walk away from where I used to live in Shannon Drive.
    I know it’s been derelict for some time. I recently sat looking at it from the window of The Crown pub opposite last June, reminiscing days gone by with my sister Ruth, wondering what would ever become of it? Who knows now?
    I now reside in Barcelona but regularly catch up on my halcyon days in Brownhills. Keep up the good work Bob! Kay Torné (nee Edmunds)

    • lilliespace says:

      My family restored this pub back in 1972, my father being a builder, discovered many historical features including an old coaching arch, and the hideaway of dick wittington inside the chimney breast. When we owned the rising sun we were refused planning permission for a bungalow, the reasoning being that the council stated it was a listed building and could only be restored with ‘no change of use’ hence the hotel came into being.
      It has a wealth of history including a stint as a brothel, transport cafe and fuel stop during the 1st & 2nd world wars. Indeed, the fuel tanks are still in situ below the frontage adjacent to the cellar. The cellar also has a natural spring, the water from which we drank on a daily basis.
      The building has a wealth of history which I would gladly share.
      RIP Rising Sun – fingers crossed your listing status will be upheld.

      Lynn Mills

  3. Lilli Brumby says:

    My family restored this pub back in 1972, my father being a builder, discovered many historical features including an old coaching arch, and the hideaway of dick wittington inside the chimney breast. When we owned the rising sun we were refused planning permission for a bungalow, the reasoning being that the council stated it was a listed building and could only be restored with ‘no change of use’ hence the hotel came into being.
    It has a wealth of history including a stint as a brothel, transport cafe and fuel stop during the 1st & 2nd world wars. Indeed, the fuel tanks are still in situ below the frontage adjacent to the cellar. The cellar also has a natural spring, the water from which we drank on a daily basis.
    The building has a wealth of history which I would gladly share.
    RIP Rising Sun – fingers crossed your listing status will be upheld.

    Lynn Mills

    • it’s not listed. Go check any listed building directory you like.

      Bob

    • Hello Lilli.

      I’m very interested in any stories or history you may have for the Rising Sun. It’s always been a fondly remembered pub with an intriguing past.

      I’ve looked into the history many times, and there are many aspects to the folklore of the place. It’s certainly intriguing.

      As to listing status, I checked with English Heritage today, in response to many suggestions that the building was listed. There say ithey have no record of it being listed or delisted.

      All local councils are bound by law to maintain a catalog of listed buildings and their reason for that status. Walsall’s can be found here, served direct from their website

      https://go.walsall.gov.uk/Portals/0/images/importeddocuments/statutory_list_-_current_version_feb10.pdf

      As you can see, the Rising Sun isn’t there.

      There is a secondary status operated by councils themselves, called ‘Local listing’ – like the legally toothless Asset of Community Value status, local listing is usually applied as a semi protection to socially significant buildings that people worry about, and offers a sort of protection in planning that in reality, is next to pointless.

      Walsall’s Locally Listed Building catalog is here. The Rising Sun isn’t in it.

      https://go.walsall.gov.uk/Portals/0/images/importeddocuments/the_local_list_updated_february10.pdf

      If you feel Walsall may have made a mistake, or the pub comes under a different authority, you can go trough a map based browser and find listed buildings ward by ward here – you can enter different wards, or search by postcode. The Sun isn’t apparently under Norton or Great Wyrley.

      https://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/england/brownhills-ward-walsall#.WdZ4KJuZN-V

      Further to this, the only planning application recorded on the system for the rising Sun is in 1998, when Buirtonwood applied to make extensive internal and external changes – they knocked it into one room for a start. Note that if the building had been listed, there would have been more fuss, and ‘Listed building consent’.

      See the application here which was granted quickly.

      http://planning.walsall.gov.uk/swift/apas/run/wphappdetail.DisplayURL?theApnID=BC56421P

      There have been no applications since.

      Further, I’m not clear about the 1972 bungalow aspect. In those days the planning authority would have been Aldridge Brownhills UDC and I shall check the records when I get chance, but the Sun being listed would not prevent a bungalow being built nearby; listing protects historically significant or unique buildings, but not their surroundings, which is what Conservation Area status does. There is no record of that either.

      I am open to being proven wrong on this, but if this is actually listed, the evidence his hiding well.

      I am hugely saddened by the plight of the Sun as I have been about any local lost pub – the subject has been a recurring theme on the blog over the years. Sadly, people seem to think every such pub is listed and that their loss is subterfuge, but sadly it’s more often than not the result of continual vandalism.

      The best way to keep pubs, like anything else we value, is to use them. Occupied, busy buildings are far more secure.

      Cheers and best wishes
      Bob

  4. Ade Reid says:

    Oh well clear the site and build some much needed 5 bedroom executive houses on it.

  5. Ade Reid says:

    Sorry Bob,I was trying to be sarcastic,but obviously didn’t work..Doh !!!

  6. Ade Reid says:

    God bless ya Bob….LOL….

  7. Terry says:

    I see a demolition company has been appointed, site is all fenced off and looks ready to be bulldozed.

  8. Nero Hardy says:

    Hi Bob, do you have (or know of anybody that has) any images of the interior of the pub back in it’s prime and now? I drive past it a lot and always wondered what it would be like if it had reopened. I’ve always admired the building.

    • ever seen any but I’ll throw it out there.

      In it’s final years it was opened into one room, and done well to be honest.

      I’ll see if we can find something

      Cheers
      Bob

  9. Clive L Roberts says:

    The Rising Sun is covered in my book “Old public houses of Brownhills(part one)” on sale at Brownhills Library. Part 2 should be out for Christmas. Hope you dont mind me giving my book a plug Bob.

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