The Magnificent Rock Houses of Kinver That Inspired Tolkien


In 1777, a man named Joseph Heely was walking ner a cliff when a thunderstorm began. He tried to find a shelter to hide in and he saw smoke coming from somewhere close to him. When he got near that place, he saw a couple of houses carved into huge rocks. He decribed the atmosphere of the house as ‘warm,curious and commodious’. He also noticed that the house was well-furnished, with access to water. The occupants were nice and decent people, who were really proud of their houses. This story was mentioned by Heely in his book about the the three great West Midland gardens of the mid-18th century, titled Letters on the Beauties of Hagley, Envil and The Leasowes with critical remarks and Observations on the Modern Taste in Gardening.

The two houses are located on the boarder between Worcestershire and Staffordshire in England.


The houses are arranged in two necklaces around a knob of rock called the Holy Austin, since it is believed that an Augustine monk used to live there. 


The last family to has lived in the houses moved out in the 1960s and the following years vandals took away anything that could be of value.


Inside the restored Rock Houses you can soak up the atmosphere of these unusual homes with crackling fires and various objects to play with.


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