The Crooked House pub glamorous new owner Carly Taylor revealed
The owner of the Crooked House pub which burnt to the ground has been revealed as glamorous businesswoman Carly Taylor.
She bought the 18th Century ale house in Dudley, West Midlands, from brewery Marston’s last month, as police confirmed they are now treating the fire as arson.
Mrs Taylor, 34, is married to the plant hire boss, Adam Taylor, who is a shareholder and former director of Himley Environmental Ltd, which runs a landfill site next to the pub.
A source told MailOnline the purchase was ‘all about access’ and followed disagreements between the firm and Marston’s over an access road to the pub which they shared.
The Taylors live between Hinckley and Lutterworth in Leicestershire in a gated compound.
Mrs Taylor lives the high life, with pictures from her social media showing her driving a Bentley, flying first class, posing outside the seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai and the Eifel Tower in Paris, or at the wheel of expensive cars.
A relative said Mrs Taylor used to run her own beauty business in Lutterworth but is now used to ‘living the high life’.
They said: ‘I think she thinks she is better than everyone else since she married into money. She seems to go here there and everywhere, judging by Facebook.’
But the relative had no idea Mrs Taylor, who controls a letting and real estate firm called ATE Farms Ltd, of which Mr Taylor, 44, was a former owner, was connected to Crooked House.
They continued: ‘I’ve driven past the pub before but I’ve never been inside.
‘I saw what happened to it on the news and just thought it seemed very odd to say the least. It makes you wonder.’
A second person who knows Mrs Taylor said she ‘loved shopping for designer handbags’ and had ‘dozens of them’.
The 260-year-old pub was surrounded by quarries which caused subsistence in the 1800s – giving the pub its famous wonky appearance.
The sale of the pub was completed on July 27 after it had closed to repair damage after a break-in.
What remained of the pub after the blaze was pulled down on Monday despite the council stating they permitted only the top floor to be demolished for safety reasons.
Staffordshire Police confirmed they are treating the blaze as arson and said in a statement: ‘Our investigation into a fire at the Crooked House on Himley Road last Saturday (August 5) continues as we try to understand the circumstances, which we are now treating as arson.
‘This fire has shocked and upset so many given the, albeit not listed, cultural importance and heritage of the building. This is not lost on us and a robust investigation using all available information and forensic opportunities is being carried out.
‘We have spoken to, and continue to engage, with the owners. However, speculation is extremely unhelpful and could hinder our investigation.
‘We’re conducting a joint investigation with colleagues at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and are liaising closely with their fire investigators who have confirmed that the cause of the fire cannot currently be determined. However, police are following up on a number of lines of enquiry.’
Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Chisholm added: ‘We understand the significance of this much-loved building and the upset and anger felt by many so want to reassure you we’re doing all we can to understand more about what happened, and who was responsible.
‘There is lots of misinformation circulating within communities and online and this is unhelpful.
‘There are also certain things that police and fire do not have the powers to deal with, the decision around partial demolition of the building for example, when the scene was handed back to the owner.
‘We are working hard with our fire colleagues to understand the cause of the fire and are in contact with the landowner, we will keep you updated with any further significant developments.’
Meanwhile West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has said ‘questions need answering’ over the fire.
In a letter to South Staffordshire council leader Roger Lees, Mr Street demanded the pub is ‘rebuilt brick by brick’.
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