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KinverOnline Forum • View topic - Holy Austin Rock

Holy Austin Rock

Much of the village's trade is based on toursim; how can we improve it?

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Holy Austin Rock

Postby BathroomGecko » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:27 pm

I recently went to Holy Austin Rock and took some new pictures. A lot of these are lame as I used my old camera a few years ago. Sorry.
A view looking at Holy Austin Rock. Holy Austin was likely to have been a friar, living as a hermit either here, or nearby. A bit dark, this shot I'm afraid.
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A view of the bottom deck. I spoke to a guy recently who has been down the well on a rope. It was dug, like most wells, by hand, and is 180 feet deep. The bottom 100 feet are back filled with rubbish and ran dry in the '20's or '30's with the building of the pumping station in Kinver.
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A view in 1920 or so.
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Inside the bedroom. The channel 4 programme "The 1900 House" provided a lot of information for furnishing this place. Occasionally visitors to the place remember visiting here when it was still inhabited (1950's) Tool marks are visable on the wall.
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Three knitting needles eh?
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This is a painting done early last century of Mr and Mrs Fletcher in the parlour. Note that lucky Mr Fletcher gets to sit by the fire, while poor Mrs Fletcher is stuck by the door with her big hands. It is one of three that were done. This is an awful photo of the really grubby one in the Con Club.
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Restored parlour from the door of the bedroom
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More snaps in here
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The ceiling was hollowed out in here, probably to fit in a large clock
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Afternoon tea.
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When families moved out, often remaining families would tunnel through into the empty cave, doubling their space. This coffin shape of tunnel is often seen in mines, and was chosen for its strength.
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Last edited by BathroomGecko on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.
BathroomGecko
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Re: Holy Austin Rock

Postby BathroomGecko » Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:27 pm

The ballroom,(named for its size, not anything else unfortunately) is where there is an exibition.

by , on Flickr

This was known to many as a cafe, and once the bus pulled up near the top of Meddins Lane, on would go the tea urn, ready for the stream of customers to toil up those horrible, horrible steep steps that thankfully have gone now!
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A plan from the lower level. The upper cave on the map, the Martindale house (named after Mrs Martindale) is now open. It used to be a great place to play, and thankfully the erosion is stopped.
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The Martindale House in 2008 awaiting restoration.
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Now open.
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[uImage

It's taking shape nicely in here. I rather like it. Apart from the lino covering the sand floor. I am sure I can remember there being earthen tiles in here when I was a kid. In all of the others I have visited, there was a tiled floor, which I would think the lino would have gone on top of. Perhaps that bit hasn't been done yet!
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A headless woman outside the cave.
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The National Trust, with help from the volunteers know the score. The job they have done here is nothing short of outstanding. Sure, I loved coming up here in the 1970's and climbing in and out of here. It is partially my fault the soft sandstone is eroded as I climbed in and out of wndows and down the chimney into the ballroom as a youngster. Without their intervention, these would not be here for my kids to see.
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This is my favourite old picture from the Rock Houses, taken in 1935 (not by me). It is a staged photograph of the postman delivering letters to the rock houses. By then the water had dried up in the wells, and was piped in, and a rockery had been planted up in front of them.
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The middle layer is now shut off to the public. It is nowhere near as interesting, and badly eroded. This cave was the Poor House, a one room cave owned by the church to provide refuge to those in need.
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This would have originally had a front, now eroded and vandalised. A horrific night in 1986 saw someone with a chainsaw cutting through a pillar of sandstone and the roof fell in. Note the original tile and brick floor.
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View from the parlour through to the bedroom at the back. On the right is a passageway.
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There are no rear windows. Like all residents of the rock houses over the last few centuries, they would have found this place warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
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It is likely that there was a well on the top deck too, but I don't know where it was. I wonder if it is still there, under the soil/sand? It was one of the deepest in England at the time. The owner of the top house would light a piece of paper and drop it in, lighting the way down to the bottom for visitors. Did he do this when two young girls visited in the early 1950's? Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret stopped to visit, a couple of years before he became Queen.
This place is fantastic, and although developed, is really good. Rumour has it that none other than J.R.R. Tolkien, visited it from nearby Birmingham and used it for inspiration for the Hobbit.
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Re: Holy Austin Rock

Postby Freddie » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:30 pm

Smashing post BathroomGecko. Just the ticket. :)
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Re: Holy Austin Rock

Postby Sniper » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:38 pm

Yeah - great thread BathroomGecko -
Please check your Personal Messages
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