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Straits House
Straits House, The Straits.
Originally a Regency gentleman's residence - a large house with extensive grounds, built around 1820 by Alexander Gordon.
This pages deals only with Straits House before it's conversion to a public house.
See about the House since it's conversion to a public house.
Alexander Gordon.
Alexander Gordon was born in Scotland around 1770.
The Gordon family originally came from Bora, Sutherland, Alexander went into business at Dudley.
Alexander Gordon married Maria Loxton (b 1781) of Wolverhampton at Saint Thomas's Church, Dudley on April 6 1802, they had three children, Mary, Elizabeth and John.
Their son, John Gordon was educated at Dudley Grammar School, and Queen's College, Oxford, he became a celebrated dissenting minister.
Maria died in January 1833, 52 years old.
"1848, January 7th. Died Mr. Alexander Gordon (of the Straits House, Lower Gornal), formerly a very active public man in this town. Mr. Gordon was a strong Reformer in Politics, and the leading member of the Wesleyan Methodists in this town and district. He was a truly kind and benevolent old gentlemen, but was particularly partial to his own views. He died at the advanced age of 77 years."
Taken from C.F.Clark's 'The Curiosities of Dudley and the Black Country, From 1800 to 1860.
Mr. Gordon died on Friday, 7th January, 1848, aged 78 years, said of him - "..he was a truly kind and benevolent old gentlemen, but was particularly partial to his own views."
Gordon was a wealthy wine merchant from Dudley, he became Mayor of the Town during 1811-1812.
The foundation stone of the original Zoar Chapel was laid by Mr. Gordon, he became a staunch reformer and a Methodist Minister.
Straits House and 12 acres of land which included gardens, shrubberies, pleasure grounds and cottages was sold off in 1854.
The estate of Alexander Gordan included many other properties and land in the Dudley area.

Subsequent Owners.
John Elwell age 38 and wife Mary, 1850-54.
Vacant 1854.
Major Barrows, (William Barrows?) occupier in 1860, vacated the House in late 1861 and the premises to be let.
1862: To be let.
Alfred Hickman.
[Sir] Alfred Hickman, [Bart.].
1865: Alfred Hickman (1830–1910).
From 1866, the Hickman family owned the Springvale furnaces in Bilston and subsequently all manner of related works of iron, steel, collieries, ironstone quarries.
Between 1885-6, and 1892-1906 he was a Conservative MP for Wolverhampton and later a member of the Council and a notable public figure.
He was knighted in 1891 and Baronet in 1903 after his fathers death.
It appears Alfred Hickman only had a few years at Straits House.
Sir Alfred died in 1910.
1871-1872: Henry Scott, a Metal Broker, and his family.
1873-1876, James Newey, coalmaster.
Solomon Crew.
Newspaper advert. c1880
Soloman Crew, son of Moses Crew, was born in Netherton, Dudley in 1835, he became a wealthy merchant, victualler and brewer in the Dudley area, by 1880 he was occuping Straits House.
He was licensee of the Windmill, in Stafford Street, Dudley, later he owned "The Peacock Hotel & Brewery", 161 High Street, Dudley, he was also a member of Dudley Town Council.
Soloman married Eliza Danks from Oldswinford in February 1867.
They had four children, Albert, Alice, Henry(Harry) and an infant who possibly died very young.
Mr Crew suffered a severe accident in 1884, he died rather suddenly seven months later, contents of his estate were sold off, Straits House was put up to let that year.
After Solomans death, his wife Eliza continued in the pub trade for a while, she was a manageress of a public house in Dudley in 1891, she died in 1908.
The Crew family ran many pubs in the Netherton and Dudley area from the mid 19th Century onwards.
1884: Dudley and District News, July 12.
Owing to the sudden death of Mr. Crew, this beutiful RESIDENCE is TO LET, containing Drawing Room, Dining and Breakfast Rooms, Library, Kitchen, Brewhouse, two Dairies, China Pantry, Butler's Pantry, Larder, three Cellars, eight Bedrooms, Dressing Room, and W.C. There is a large, well fruited walled-in Kitchen Garden attached, and a large Lawn in front of the house, which is approached by a carriage drive. There are also two Cottages, one Lodge, Stables, Piggeries, Cowhouse, &c.
The land which is of excellent quality, is chiefly pasture.
Occupation may be had at once, with or without furniture and crops.

1884 Straits House, late of Solomon Crew, sale of contents inventory.

Comprising:- 5 well-bred Cows (4 in calf), 2 Heifers, 3 Calves, Bay Carriage Mare (16 ½ hands), Roan Colt (15 hands), Sow with 11 pigs, 2 Gilts, Sow (in pig), about 60 couples of Fowls, lot of Chickens, &c., &c.:
Including Sweed Pulper, Chaff Cutter, 2 Rick Sheets (10 yards long), Rick Poles, Hay Rakes and Forks, Stone Garden Roll, Iron ditto, Chain Harrows, Avery's Sack Weighing Machine, Samuelson's Lawn Mower, small ditto, Iron and Wood Hurdles, new Horse Hay Rake (8ft), Sack Trolley, Feeding Troughs and Cratches, Ladders, Hackney Saddles and Bridles, Barrel Churn, Stable and Garden Tools, Hand Drill, Tedding Machine, 4 ½in. Block Cart, capital Phaeton (with movable rumble and lamps), Silver Cart (with thripples).
About 12 ½ acres Grass and 1 acre Turnips and Swedes.
Fruits and Vegitables, Cucumber Frames, &c., &c. >
Comprising the contents of Chambers, Hall, Breakfast, Dining and Drawing Rooms, Brussels and Tapestry Carpets, half-tester and French Iron Bedsteads and Hangings, capital feather Bed Straw and Wool Palliasses, Mahogany and Birch Toilet Glasses, Stair Rods and Carpets, Cane-seated Chairs, Chimney Ornaments, pair Mahogany a la Duchesse Chamber Stands with marble slabs, &c., sets Chamber Ware, Mahogany Cornice Poles and Rings, Spanish Mahogany winged Wardrobe fitted with drawers, Oak Hat and Umbrella Stand, Oak Case eight-day Clock, Barometer in walnut case, adjustable Garden Seat, Hall Lamp, Japanned Coal Vases, Ormolu and steel-polished Fireirons, Venitian Ashpans, steel and scroll pattern Fenders, massive gilt Pier Glasses, eight-day Bracket Clocks, Steel Engravings, Oleographs, and Oil Paintings, Mahogany crown and ballon back Chairs in loose hair seatings, ditto Sofas and Couches, ditton ladies' and gents.' Easy Chairs, Oak and Mahogany Dining Tables, Walnut Whatnot, handsome Lustres, Vases, and Ornaments, two-COTTAGE PIANOFORTES in Walnut and Rosewood, by Tripp, and Wood, Walnut and Mahogany Loo and Dining Tables, Walnut chiffonier, plate glass panels and back, Book Case, Horse Pistol, Walnut Suite in Claret Satin, comprising six Chairs, two Easy Chairs, Settee, &c., Lace Curtains, Spanish Mahogany Sideboard, Patent Lamps by Silver and Co., four volumes "Casquet Literature," three volumes "Chemistry," two Cattle Medicine Chests, nine Lignum Vitae Bowls, Deal Dresser fitted with drawers, &c., part cask Petroleum, Yard Dog, Garden Vases, &c.
100 DOZEN WINES, including Sherries, Ports, Clarets, and Champagnes, also Kitchen and Cooking Utensils and numerous other effects.

N.B. terms and items you may not be familiar with....
Oleograph: A print textured to resemble an oil painting.
Palliasse: A straw-filled mattress.
Phaeton: A light, open four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage.
Pier Glass: Tall Mirror.
Tedding Machine: A hay turning machine used in the field.
Thripple: An extension to an agricutural cart usually for carrying hay.
Toilet Glass: Mirror;

Edward Wones.
Edward Wones, son of John and Nancy Wones, was born in the Sedgley area in July, 1835. He married Mary Jevon in 1862, they had a child Eliza in 1863, unfortunately his wife died in 1869.
The 1881 Census shows that he is a Coal Master employing 28 men, he was living in Tipon Road, Sedgley at that time.
By 1888, Edward Wones had occupied Straits House, and remained there the rest of his life.
In 1891, Edward now aged 55, was living alone with a female servant-housekeeper, a local single woman called Angelina Pearson who was 27 years old.
On 30 September 1893, Edward married Angelina, it appears that they did not have any children.
During this period the house was sometimes referred to as 'Straits Hall'.
Angelina died in 1903 aged only 40 years old, and Edward was widowed again.
Edward Wones died on 9 Dec 1920 and the House passed to his daughter Eliza, Eliza had married John Bent, a bank cashier from Tipton in 1885, and started the House's association with the Bent family.
Bent family.
Since 1920, this was the Bent family home.
The Earl of Dudley sold off this property in 1947, it was said to include 27½ acres.
During the 1950's this fine building was converted into a Public House, Straits House.
Although strongly objected to and despite petitions by local residents, Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries PLCs application to transform the building into 24 residential flats in 2006 was eventually successful.
Straits House as a pub, called its last 'time' on Sunday 14th January, 2007.
The main facade has been retained with modern extensions to the side and rear form part of the development.
The main house has now been divided up into apartments.