Fascinating cave houses on the Worcestershire and Staffordshire border.
Strictly speaking, The Kinver Edge Rock Houses are in Staffordshire. The county border between Worcestershire and Staffordshire cuts across a forested sandstone ridge so that the southern part is Kingsford Forest Park and the northern part is Kinver Edge. While exploring the many woodland trails it’s hard to know where one county ends and the other begins.
Over the centuries people carved their houses out of the rock along the length of the cliff. Those in the Kingsford Park are now little more than rain eroded caves. Just across the border in Staffordshire it’s a different story. Although the last residents moved out of the rock houses around 1967, and the buildings experienced years of neglect, in 1989 the National Trust took over the remaining houses located at Holy Austin Rock and began a long-term programme of conservation and restoration.
Years of commitment to the project by the National trust and its supporters has resulted in several of the properties being fully restored. Visitors can now walk through the underground rooms and experience what it would have been like to live there. A Small museum tells the story of the caves and there is a lovey café that overlooks the town of Kinver.
A local legend, now widely accepted, is that JRR Tolkien, author of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings visited the site and was inspired to come up with the idea of Hobbits and Hobbit Holes.
At least one of the caves has been taken over by the Lesser Horseshoe Bat which is listed as a vulnerable species in decline. Every care is taken to protect their habitat as it is believed that there are now fewer than 14,000 remain in Britain.
ADDRESS & CONTACT
Compton Road, Kinver, Staffordshire, England – DY7 6DN
Sat Nav Postcode: DY7 6DN
Sat Nav Postcode Parking: DY7 6DN