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Kinver as seen from Holy Austin Rock Houses
|Elevation||164 m (538 ft)|
|Topo map||OS Landranger 102|
Kinver Edge is a high heath and woodland escarpment just west of Kinver, about four miles west of Stourbridge, and four miles north of Kidderminster, and is on the border between Worcestershire and Staffordshire, England. It is now owned by the National Trust.
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.
The National Trust was given 198 acres of Kinver Edge in 1917 by the children of Thomas Grosvenor Lee, a Birmingham Solicitor born in Kinver, in memory of Lee and his wife. The Trust acquired a further 85 acres between 1964 and 1980.
Holy Austin Rock Houses
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. They are now owned by the National Trust and are open for tour. One house has been restored to a Victorian appearance, and the Martindale Caves show what life was like in the 1930s.
The cottage gardens and an orchard are being replanted and restored.
Kinver Edge is situated to the east of the Severn Valley, and is in the South Staffordshire/Wyre Forest Districts. It is situated in green belt land, and is at the very edge of the urban metropolitan West Midlands. Kinver Edge rises to 164 metres above sea level at the summit, and provides views to the Clent Hills, Shatterford Hill, Dudley, Wenlock Edge, Malvern Hills and the Shropshire Hills. The rock houses are in kinver edge
The Edge is topped with Bunter pebbles, and is subject to erosion.
The heathland and woodland on Kinver Edge are inhabited by wildlife, including adder and common lizard present on the heaths, and common buzzard, Eurasian jay, great spotted woodpecker, badger, red fox, and many other bird species present in the woods. The area around the summit is mainly heathland, with birch, oak and sweet chestnut trees in the woods at the northern end.
Kingsford Forest Park (also known as Kingsford Country Park) is on the southern end of the Edge, and entirely in Worcestershire. It covers approximately 200 acres (0.81 km2) and is made up of coniferous plantation woodlands. In 2014 Worcestershire Council Cabinet approved a report proposing the transfer of the Forest Park to the National Trust. As of 2018[update], 'Kingsford Forest Park' signs at the entrances in Kingsford Lane and Blakeshall Lane have been removed and replaced by 'National Trust Kinver Edge' signs.
- Kinver Edge and the Rock Houses - National Trust
- Internet Guide to Stourbridge Kinver Page
- BBC Radio 4 documentary about Kinver Edge (listen online)