Historic status awarded to Birmingham pub dubbed 'birthplace of heavy metal' where Black Sabbath made their debut

Black Sabbath with an inset of The Crown pub in Birmingham, UK
(Image credit: Black Sabbath Photo by Roger Morton/Cleopatra Records/Getty Images, The Crown pub photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

A pub dubbed "the birthplace of heavy metal" and where Black Sabbath played their first ever gig has been given special historical status and saved from the apparent threat of demolition.

The Crown pub in Birmingham was where Black Sabbath, then called Earth, played their first show in 1968. It also hosted performances by many other influential acts, including Led Zeppelin.

It has been derelict since 2014 and campaigners feared it would be lost forever as the Station Street area of Birmingham faces a challenging future.

It was recently confirmed that the nearby cinema, The Electric, would close. It is thought to be England's oldest working cinema. The area also houses The Old Rep theatre.

But after thousands of people signed a petition to save the area, Historic England confirmed The Crown pub has been granted Grade II listed status by the UK Government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Historic England is the public body set up to protect England's historic environment.

A Grade II listed building is defined as a UK building or structure that is "of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve it."

The BBC reports that The Crown was originally named the General Elliott and opened in 1876.

Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi says: "Cities all over the UK are protecting their musical heritage, Birmingham shouldn’t be left behind. The Crown has huge significance to us and many other successful acts."

The founder of Birmingham Music Archive, Jez Collins, tells the BBC the stage Black Sabbath "first stood on is still there".

He adds: "We need to ensure The Crown reopens, we need to bring it back to life as a cultural venue, a music venue and a place people will want to visit."

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.