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The Fiddlers Arms
Photo CDM 2015
The Fiddlers Arms, 16 Straits Road, Gornal Wood.
1863 Sale notice
Known locally as the 'Fiddle'.
First licenced around 1860, an adjacent barn provided temporary shelter for a local break-away Methodist group.
The property was sold by Marstons to a property developer in 2013.
Presently under threat of closure and of the site being redeveloped.
A Co-op store and housing are planned, despite local support of a petition to save this historic pub, it looks probable that it will close in December 2017 and succumb to the developers.
Unfortunately the 'Fiddle' is going the same way as so many other pubs in our area, "use them or lose them!".
The pub closed on 14 December 2017, we are now awaiting it's fate..
Latest News April 2018
The Fiddle has been offered by the developers as a pub tenancy once again, hopefully someone will take this on successfully and we can save this Gornal landmark.
The Fiddle was erected on the site of a farmhouse (no known image, but most likely a three storey, flat-fronted 18th century building), last farmed by Paul Russell (b.1796, Himley, d. 1865, Cotwall End).
Paul Russell relinquished the farm in 1849 when a new lease (from the Earl of Dudley) threatened massively increased rents (Paul took on the lease of Cotwall End farm a couple of years later).
The (Fiddle site) farm was inconvenient in that the land came in two separate parcels, eight fields adjacent to the Himley Road at Askew Bridge, and four fields on the slopes of Turner's Hill.
The reason for the rent hike was most likely the strong (but unfulfilled) possibility of coal deposits beneath the Askew Bridge fields.
The great barn however survived when the other farm buildings were demolished. The lease of the newly built pub did include some land (presumably for barley) at Turner's Hill, but none at Askew Bridge.
- additional information courtesy of Jack Falstaff
1880 Sale notice, Dudley and District News, September 18.
It seems that the Fiddle continued to function as a farm as well as the public house up until at least 1880.
'Fiddlers Lane' was mentioned in 1851. [Census].
1857, Mr Fisher.
1865, Joseph Beddard. [Jones's Mercantile Directory]
1878, Benjamin Smith -he died in 1879.
1896-1904, Mrs Ann Jevon. [Kelly's Trade directory]
1901, Ann Jevon, widow age 67. [Census]
1911, Benjamin Evans, Licensed Victualler. [Census]
1912, Benjamin Evans. [Kelly's Trade directory]
1940, William Evans. [Kelly's Trade Directory]
'The Fiddler's Arms', from a sketch by Austin Moseley, 1971.
'ah bin yah ah kid