Kinver Edge is a remnant of the Mercian forest, although much planting dates from post-1945. There are two Iron Age hillforts on Kinver Edge the larger one Kinver Edge Hillfort, is at the northern end, while the other is at the southern end, on a promontory known as Drakelow Hill. Kinver Edge Hillfort is a univallate Iron Age hillfort with a massive rampart and outer ditch along the south-west and south-east sides, with natural defences on the remaining sides. The area has been a popular local tourist destination since Edwardian times, when an electric tramway, the Kinver Light Railway, connected Kinver to the Birmingham tram system. Kinver Edge is home to the last troglodyte dwellings occupied in England, with a set of complete cave-houses excavated into the local sandstone. One of the rocks, "Holy Austin", was a hermitage until the Reformation. The Holy Austin rock houses were inhabited until the 1960s. One house has been restored to a Victorian appearance, and the Martindale Caves show what life was like in the 1930s.
With sweeping views, a wildlife haven in the heath and unique homes carved straight into the rock, Kinver Edge is full of surprises. The famous Holy Austin Rock Houses are cosily restored to help you soak up the atmosphere of these unusual homes. Get comfortable by the fire and the volunteers will tell you tales of the people that lived right inside the rock. Just outside is the heathland of Kinver Edge - a pocket of wilderness, buzzing with insects and heady with the scent of gorse and purple heather. A stroll along the sandstone ridge offers dramatic views across surrounding counties from the ramparts of the imposing Iron Age Hill Fort.
Mobility parking - at both Kinver Edge and Holy Austin Rock Houses car parks. Accessible toilet - in Kinver village. Pathways - sandy and grassy around Kinver Edge car park join gravel surfaces up to the viewpoint. Some paths climb steeply with woodchip surfaces and handrails. Woodland routes can become slippery and muddy after wet weather. Rock Houses - wheelchairs will be able to access the lower-level rock houses. There are steep steps up to the upper-level, not appropriate for visitors with restricted mobility. All-ability trails - wide, gently sloping, smooth pathway with handrail running from Holy Austin Rock car park to the rock houses. There is an easy access trail up to the lower-level rock houses. Seating - benches are dotted around the estate at regular intervals. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Location : Holy Austin Rock Houses, Compton Road, Kinver, near Stourbridge, Staffordshire, DY7 6DL
Transport: Stourbridge (National Rail) then bus or taxi (5 miles). Bus Routes : 227, 228 and 580 stop in Kinver (0.8 miles).
Opening Times : Thursday to Monday 11:00 to 16:00
Tickets : Adults £5.00; Children £2.00
Tel: 01384 872553