The Old Crown in Digbeth claims to date back to the 14th century, the same year as the Ming dynasty was founded in 1368. Most of the present building dates back to the early 16th century, however. But from its starkly iconic, black-and-white timber frame exterior, its deep history is felt by all entering.
Skirmishes are said to have been fought around the building during the English Civil War. These days, standing out on Birmingham’s streets, The Old Crown is often overflowing with visitors’ merriment. Compared to its trendy, but no less loveable neighbours surrounding The Custard Factory, the pub offers a back-to-basic simplicity that can be sorely missed in modern times.
Not only does The Old Crown claim to be the oldest pub in Birmingham, but also “the friendliest.” Having sunk more than our fair share of pints here on a Friday night, we have to agree. Inside, and out in the large beer garden, a friendly face is never far whether you’re in a large group, or come alone. Of course, they also serve a range of local ales, which is a plus.
Adding to the community spirit, The Old Crown also throws regular events – from watching the World Cup matches to massive disco parties, quiz nights and coffee clubs. There’s always something to bring the community of Digbeth together, and The Old Crown often stands at the centre of that community. No wonder Queen Elizabeth I stopped by in 1575 on her way back from Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire… apparently.
Of course, no proper pub is right without some proper grub. And luckily the food doesn’t date back to the 14th century. Instead, expect classics like chicken caesar salad, beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips and Korean fried chicken wings But the handcrafted OC burger with spiced Monterey jack cheese served on a toasted brioche bun is our star of the kitchen. Options for vegans and vegetarians are also available.
If you’re visiting the area, then follow in Queen Elizabeth’s footsteps and book a room, for the night. The traditional pub is at the heart of the creative quarter, Digbeth, and is only a short walk from the city centre. To learn more head here.