Wednesday, 27 April 2011

On the Edge

After a brief halt at Greensforge for water we set off southwards again for the relatively short run to Kinver. We had a couple of hold ups at locks and at Stourton Junction the Blackcountryman trip boat came off the Stourbridge Canal in front of us just as we approached Stourton Junction, putting us behind him at Stewpony lock.

Stewpony lock
I always expect there to be more to stop for at Stewpony than there actually is - it's one of the few locks on this stretch that doesn't have a lockside pub for a start - so we carried on behind the trip boat to Kinver.
Kinver village centre - note the church above the village.
There is certainly lots to see here. The village is most famous for its rock houses - caves in the red sandstone rock used as dwelling houses well into the last century. Unfortunately, they are only open to the public on Thursdays to Sundays, but you can get a good idea of what they were like from the path past the bottom of the rock, which is open at other times.
Cave houses at Holy Austin Rock, Kinver.
From Holy Austin Rock, a footpath leads steeply up through woodland to emerge at the top of Kinver Edge. From this local landmark there are spectacular views over a large part of the south-west midlands and to other Midlands landmarks, such as Clee Hill, the Malvern Hills, Clent Hills, Sedgeley Beacon and, er..., the tower blocks at Wolverhampton.
Kinver Edge
After all this exertion I decided I needed a pint and here Kinver certainly comes into its own. Most boaters will know the Vine, at Kinver Lock, but there's also the Cross Keys - for the best choice of real ales -
and for fans of real pubs, as well as Batham's beer, my own favouite the Plough and Harrow.
The Plough and Harrow, Kinver. The flags are out; is someone getting married?


Adam said...

I'm pretty sure there used to be a pub at Stewpony Lock. We did the Stourport Ring on a hire boat at least ten years ago -- a holiday about which I remember very little. But when we went down to Stourport on Debdale last year, I had a flashback. I'm almost certain we moored near the lock and went to eat in a pub across the main road. It was a huge building, which probably used to be a hotel. There's relatively new housing there now, so I can only assume that it was knocked down. (Unless I'm remembering a completely different place, of course, which is a possibility!)

Alf said...

Adam, yes there used to be a large pub where you said, a big road house type of place, as you say long since demolished & built on !

Starcross said...

I also came through Stewpony during my hire-boating days so perhaps that's why I was expecting there to be a pub here?