Sunday, 17 July 2011

Holy Austin and Baby Austin.

Despite the rain we decided that cabin fever was getting to us so we donned coats and set off to investigate the rock houses at Holy Austin Rock. The dwellings were built, or dug, in the 18th C. the first positive mention is in the 1770's.

After a twenty-five minute hike from the canal you get you first glimpse of the restored house above the cottage gardens and then a sharp climb up a long flight of brick steps brings you to

the front door. National Trust £2.99 to get in. Originally the houses were on three levels but the middle level is now derelict.The restored house is on the bottom level. Inside there are two restored rooms,

the kitchen, complete with black leaded stove. The seated lady is a N.T. guide, not a latter day troglodyte.

The bedroom has a sewing machine, a fire and a candle, very snug. The chimneys are tunnels up through the rock,

as can be seen from this view inside one of the derelict houses. Apparently the children on the higher levels used to take great delight in dropping things down the chimneys of the lower houses.

This is the interior of one of the houses on the top level, it must of been a proper little community in it's day.

The original water supply, although later they got piped water, a stand pipe on each level, and eventually a gas supply.

On the top level there were three cottages, the back rooms are in the rock and the fronts are built out with local stone. These cottages were occupied until 1963 when they were condemned as unfit for human habitation and the last inhabitants were rehoused. What you see now are reconstructions and they now house the tea room. We had a cuppa and a wedge of cake.
We walked back along Kinver's attractive High Street,

with the church

looming above. As far as I was concerned it could loom all it liked, I was not going to climb up there in the rain.
At the end of the High Street this little beauty appeared,

a Baby Austin, I couldn't have rounded off today's post better if I'd planned it.

Watch this space...............

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