Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Monday, 29 October 2012

Kinver Rock Houses

Kinver Edge is a high heath and woodland escarpment around the village of Kinver, with a set of complete cave-houses excavated into the local sandstone. One of the rocks, "Holy Austin", was a hermitage until the ReformationThe Kinver Rock Houses date from 1770 and were inhabited until the 1950s. They are now owned by the National Trust. Last year we passed through Kinver twice and each time was when the houses were closed, so today we made sure we didn't miss out on a proper look round.

At its height 11 families lived in the cave homes and it is believed they came about in response to a housing shortage for employees of the Hyde Iron Works.Each home had a living area and bedroom.

When the last two families moved out in the late 1950s the 11 homes began to fall into disrepair.

Three levels of homes were constructed in the rock. None of them had electricity or running water or toilets. Families shared an outdoor privy.

Three homes on the bottom tier were restored and opened to the public in the 1990s.

The trust has since restored one of the homes on the top tier which was converted into a tea-room by the Reeve family and which is still used as a tea room. Th.e frontage of these are built from sandstone bricks but inside the rooms are cut out of the rock

The rooms don't vary much in temperature, being cool in summer and warm in winter. The homes had fireplaces keeping the damp out. You can see the brick chimney here on the outside of the rock.

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