Historic pub coming back to life at Black Country Living Museum

A landmark pub which has vanished from its original spot is springing up again at the Black Country Living Museum.

The Elephant & Castle was a popular pub before it closed in 2001. Photo: Wolverhampton Archives
The Elephant & Castle was a popular pub before it closed in 2001. Photo: Wolverhampton Archives

The Elephant & Castle pub is the first part of the museum’s Forging Ahead project, a 1940s to 1960s town at the attraction in Dudley.

Built in 1905, the Elephant & Castle was once a grand Edwardian pub, and was seen as a major landmark for those coming into Wolverhampton.

Standing on the corner of Stafford Street and Cannock Road, the pub was popular among the migrant community in the city, but fell into disrepair and was demolished in 2001.

The work to recreate the pub is part of the museum's plan to create a world-class heritage attraction in the heart of the Black Country, telling a unique story to around 500,000 visitors each year by 2026.

Site supervisor Tim Darrall and project lead John Hughes next to the site, where Tim laid the first brick

The museum said it presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to save Black Country heritage, inspire people with stories that would otherwise be at risk of being lost, and transform the local community.

Tim Darrall is site supervisor for the brickworks company, AFB Ltd, the team working to build the Elephant & Castle and laid the first brick of the project.

Mr Darrall said the build was a dream for him, having been a regular at the pub in the 1980s.

He said: "It’s a great honour to be working on the Black Country Living Museum’s Forging Ahead project.

The pub took up a prominent place on the corner of Stafford Street and Cannock Road in Wolverhampton. Photo: Bev Parker

"I was so pleased when I heard that I would be working on the Elephant & Castle, a pub that I used to frequent and it is a much missed landmark.

"Back in 2001, when it was knocked down, I would have never thought that I’d be involved in its recreation, let alone be one of the people to lay the first bricks and I can’t wait to have my first pint in the finished build."

John Hughes, project lead for Forging Ahead at the Black Country Living Museum said: "We are excited to see The Elephant & Castle start to take form as it will be the first of our historic buildings to open in the 1940s-60s town.

The pub will be the first building to open at the new exhibition

"The pub will play a pivotal role in the Museum’s community and welcome 1000s of visitors once again.

"When the build is complete, the next stage will be ‘set dressing’ the interior which is why our appeal for pub memorabilia today is vital, so that we are able to tell the story of this beautiful building and bring it back to life."

The Black Country Living Museum is currently calling out for any memories prior to 1969 and 1950s-60s pub memorabilia for the Elephant & Castle.

To find out more, email collections@bclm.com or call 0121 557 9643.

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