The Holy Austin Rock Houses In Kinver Edge, England Are A Relic Of Another Time
One day in the late 1700s, Joseph Heely of Birmingham was walking along the edge of a cliff when he got caught in a thunderstorm. Looking for some shelter, he saw smoke coming from a break in the rocks, and discovered some rock houses carved into the side of the mountain.
That afternoon in central England, he was taken in and taken care of during the storm. The residents who lived in these natural houses were warm and hospitable. And super proud of their rock houses in Kinver.
These houses built in rocks are now incredible relics of a different, much simpler time. You can even visit them if you’re in the area.
How Old Are The Rock Houses?
These houses built into rocks were used as homes until the 1960s. However, no one knows exactly when the first caves were carved into the stone. Based on the age of similar rock-cut chambers, researchers assume that the Kinver Edge rock homes were cut as early as 700 AD.
The Homes May Have Influenced Tolkien’s Middle Earth
On top of providing precious shelter to people as in the 700s, these homes also influenced the homes of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
After pursuing an academic career at Pembroke College, Oxford, JRR Tolkien started to write stories for children. Full of gnomes and goblins, he wrote stories in his spare time when he was not teaching.
One day, he encountered a blank page while marking exam papers, and wrote the first line of one of his most famous books:
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
He then went on to describe a rock house, and they’ve been famous ever since.
How To Visit The Kinver Edge Rock Houses
You can visit the Kinver Edge rock houses because the National Trust purchased the site. Some of them say they’re the “coolest thing they’ve ever seen”. Specialists have restored them to their original condition for visitors and they’re unreal to behold in person.
You can go inside these incredible little hobbit homes and see for yourself. Check out this link straight from the National Trust, and it’ll tell you all you need to know for your first visit to the Kinver Edge rock houses.