Sandstone caves near the Black Country were home to 44 people until the 1960s. They became a tourist attraction over a century ago and still make a fascinating visit
As the morning sun breaks through the conifers at Kinver Edge, I pause for a moment to watch the light flood the forest floor. You’d never know from the roadside, but this woodland on the edge of the Black Country was home to England’s last troglodytes.
Four miles south-east of Stourbridge, on the Staffordshire-Worcestershire border, Kinver Edge is a 250-million-year-old sandstone escarpment with a network of cavernous houses carved into its three rocks – Holy Austin, Nanny’s and Vale’s – and an iron age hill fort. People lived here until they were persuaded to swap their caves for local council housing in the mid-1950s, leaving a 400-year legacy behind.