Kinver Edge and Kinver Rock Houses

Kinver Edge is a remnant of  a vast area of desert sand dunes  dating from the “Triassic Period” that existed around 200 million years ago, when early forms of dinosaur roamed the planet, a long time before Tyrannosaurus Rex.   The land surface of the planet at the time comprised only one continent, and Kinver was near the equator.   The lines in the sandstone rock were created by strong winds blowing across surface of the sand dunes.  The movement of the continent as it split apart to form Europe, Asia, Afica and America resulted in the surface of Kinver Edge moving at various angles to the current horizon.   The prominent sandstone rocks are part of the “Bridgnorth rock formation”.

As the land surface of Kinver Edge moved more northerly, trees  started to grow.  Kinver Edge was forced upwards, and became a good viewing point for early civilisations when an iron age fort was built.  The Romans also recognised the benefit of the viewoint  to protect the main route to the City of Chester from invasion by Caradoc in AD47 and to defend agianst allies of Queen Boudicca  in AD60.

The surrounding area was part of the Royal Forest of Kinver in medieval times.

The soft sandstone allowed settlers to carve houses from the rock , and Kinver Edge was the site of the last troglodyte cave houses occupied in England.  One of the rocks, “Holy Austin”, was apparently a hermitage until the Restoration, or maybe a home to a giant who roamed the woodland according to local folklore?

Picture Courtesy of Valery

It has been suggested that these cave-house were the inspiration for The Hobbit written by  Tolkien, who grew up in nearby Birmingham and Staffordshire.   The Holy Austin rock houses were inhabited until the 1950s.  They are now owned by the National Trust who have restored the Martingdsale Cave which was opened to the public in 2012.

Picture Postcard (1902) Courtesy of Valery

Explore Kinver Edge and the Rockhouses with Digitalbywater 

Kinver Edge is now owned by the National Trust.  A plaque on Kinver Edge states “In a meeting held on this spot on the 29th September 1917, about 200 acres of Kinver Edge were given to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty by Thomas Oliver Lee, Clara Winifred Wight, Emma Rosalind Lee and Stephen Grosvenor Lee as a memorial to their parents, Thomas Grosvenor Lee, solicitor of Birmingham, and Winifred Hannah Lee, who both died in the year 1916. Thomas Grosvenor Lee too great interest in the preservation of public footpaths and open spaces. Kinver was the home of his youth and throughout his life he always had a great affection for Kinver Edge and the beautiful country in the neighbourhood.”

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