Update: September 2010 - Demolition to go ahead. Eight houses will eventually be built on the site.

Since the 1940s this building on Coseley’s Summerhill Road has been more familiar as a public house. Initially named the New Spread Eagle followed by Malone’s, then Sherlock Holmes and finally The Earl of Wessex. The last pint was pulled around 2008. Now [July 2010] a planning application proposes demolition to make way for a residential development.

The property is a splendid example of a Black Country ‘big’ house dating from the Victorian era. In Kelly’s Directory [1880] William Greenway, a local file maker, was recorded as the owner of Albert House. The family were important employers and benefactors. It stayed in family use into the 1930s. The recent photograph (above) shows the house retains a prominent elevated position on the streetscape and adds considerable character to Summerhill Road.

Notwithstanding the many alterations Albert House is still an imposing property and deserves to stay – possibly within a Conservation Area centred on Christ Church just two hundred yards away. In the meantime appropriate action should be taken to protect this landmark building from demolition. Here, at the very least, is an opportunity to integrate the present building into a more imaginative scheme than the one proposed.

To see Albert House in context try Google's Street View opposite.

The Earl of Wessex

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