HIMLEY'S historic Crooked House pub should be rebuilt "brick by brick", West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has said as footage emerged of it being demolished just two days after it was gutted by fire.

Mr Street said pub "holds real cultural and historical significance" and its loss in the blaze is "deeply upsetting".

The well-known 18th century pub was extensively damaged on Saturday evening, and Mr Street sent letters to South Staffordshire Council and the emergency services on Monday.

Later on Monday, footage emerged on social media of what remained of the building being demolished by a mechanical digger followed by images of piles of rubble.

Dudley News: The remains of The Crooked HouseThe remains of The Crooked House (Image: Andy Cashmore)

Mr Street's letter to council leader Roger Lees, which was also signed by West Midlands night-time economy adviser Alex Claridge, said the pub should be rebuilt and the local authority should consider barring any change of use application for the site.

The two men said: "Whilst we do not yet know the cause of the fire or the outcome of any investigation being conducted by Staffordshire Police or Staffordshire Fire and Rescue, it is clear that we should not allow such a tragic act to be the end of The Crooked House.

"We therefore ask that you consider ensuring the property is rebuilt brick by brick (using as much original material as possible) before any further discussions about the future of the site take place.

"We are aware the Crooked House has only very recently been sold by Marston's to a private developer with the intention of the site being used for 'alternative use'.

Dudley News: Undated photo by Nick Maslen/Alamy Stock Photo of The Crooked House pub Undated photo by Nick Maslen/Alamy Stock Photo of The Crooked House pub

"However, our understanding is that any alternative use would have to be approved by your council's planning department or committee, and so we would therefore ask you to strongly consider not allowing any alternative use and instead keeping this iconic location as a pub."

The blaze, which was tackled by 30 firefighters, came just two weeks after the building was sold by pub company Marston's to a private buyer for "alternative use".

Staffordshire Police said on Monday that they were reviewing "all of the available evidence" into the cause of the blaze, which was extinguished by Sunday morning.

But there have been multiple reports that mounds of dirt were blocking access roads to the pub after the fire started, something Mr Street and Mr Claridge confirmed in a separate letter to the police and fire services.

The pair said they "make it clear we are not inferring" that The Crooked House was deliberately set alight, but that there are "major questions" over the timing of the blaze.

Dudley News:

Their second letter was addressed to Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Chris Noble and and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer Rob Barber.

It said: "Whilst we will avoid any speculation as to what has occurred, clearly there are major questions to be answered given how swiftly this fire happened following the sale of the pub to an unknown private developer.

"We are also intrigued by the fact that your officers faced blocked access when trying to get to the scene."

In a tweet on Tuesday morning, Mr Street added: "We believe that great pubs have immense cultural and historical value here in the West Midlands - and we should be taking steps to protect and preserve their heritage.

Dudley News: Aftermath of Saturday's fire captured by droneAftermath of Saturday's fire captured by drone (Image: Facebook)

"The reaction of so many of you to the tragic fire at The Crooked House tells us we're not alone. We're on it."

Anyone with information that may help the investigation is urged to contact Staffordshire Police quoting incident 761 of August 5.

South Staffordshire Council has been approached for comment.