Dunsley Rock Cottage
Once upon a time there was a quaint woodland cottage, built into ancient sandstone rocks, with its own secret cave and waterside moorings onto the canal at the bottom of the garden…
Ready for the fairytale to become a reality?
Welcome to Dunsley Rock Cottage, designed by famous local architect John Greaves-Smith and nestled between the villages of Kinver and Whittington.
Built into the rock face where caves had been occupied for hundreds of years, the three cottages, originally built to house canal workers, were repurposed in the 1970s to create an eco-chic waterside cottage with moorings for two narrow boats, its own cave and a wealth of woodland!
|A more unique and breathtaking location is difficult to envisage. Abandon your car and meander along the coastal-style path carved into the sandstone and through ancient woodland, until you discover Dunsley Rock Cottage, a hidden treasure with awe-inspiring views.
OWNER QUOTE: “It’s like a hidden treasure with amazing views. It’s high up, so you can see the ‘floating church’ in front of you, then a really meandering river. It’s very beautiful.”
Cleverly tiered, this two-storey home appears almost hewn from the rock-face itself, with access available both upstairs and down to decking, caves and the woodland.
Step through the porch and into a light and open entrance hall, overlooked by a galleried landing. To the left, exposed brickwork with black soot-markings from the original fireplace extends up the staircase, making for a quirky feature wall.
Directly to the right, discover an open plan lounge with dining room to the rear. Robust beams span the ceiling of the living room, adding a rustic feel when teamed with the whitewashed brick work and cosy wood-burning stove.
Hunker down on the sofa on a brisk winter’s evening, snug and warm in front of the crackling embers. Pluck a favourite book down from one of the recessed shelves within the alcoves. At one with nature, the stove is attached to central heating copper pipes which transport the heat upstairs to the bedroom; deliciously eco-friendly.
OWNER QUOTE: “You can see the views from everywhere.”
Enjoy laid-back family dinners in the dining room to the rear which looks out onto the enchanting caves behind. Open the patio doors and sneak a peek at these natural wonders; which are also handy for storage.
Head through now into your ‘bonus room’. Once the old washroom for the trio of cottages where Dunsley Rock Cottage now stands, this versatile study-workroom is currently used as a soothing yoga studio.
Where better to cleanse your chakras than here, with bountiful views beyond the window and access directly out to the front garden and its vista over the water course below.
OWNER QUOTE: “It’s one thing you really notice living here, it’s beautiful every season, and every season is different.”
Returning to the main entrance, ahead of you lies a small hallway, leading to a handy cloakroom with toilet and sink, handy for freshening up from an afternoon’s gardening.
Access to the rear garden is on hand from the utility room on the left, stocked with a Belfast sink, perfectly in-keeping with the cottage’s rustic charm.
Also accessed from the main hallway and via a front stable door, is the country-functional kitchen.
Sturdy beam-work spans the ceiling, illuminated by a sprinkle of inset spotlights. Underfoot, the floor is coated in beautiful big quarry tiles, which continue through to the utility and downstairs WC.
All the heritage of country life with the trappings of contemporary convenience; note the glossy pearly units, recently fitted and coated in solid oak work surfaces. Discover all the essential appliances here with an induction hob, oven and grill at waist height and space too for a dishwasher.
Cook up a feast for family and friends, whilst enjoying vistas through the front window towards the floating church in the valley beyond. Greeting card views through the additional three windows reveal scenes of the canal and glimpses of the garden, whilst the rear window looks towards the back cave.
Feeling sleepy? Ascend the open staircase with us, admiring the view down from the galleried landing.
Along the gallery to the right, discover a master bedroom that lives up to its name. Stretching out over the entirety of the downstairs living and dining rooms, this sumptuous space even has access onto its own private terrace through a set of patio doors.
So private, especially in summer, step down onto the back decking and out into the waiting woodland beyond. Enjoy the high heat of the sun in the summer time, and in the winter when the trees are bare of leaves.
Back inside, take a tour of your spacious bedroom, replete with fitted, illuminated wardrobes to either end. So much floor space, so much storage. Enjoy views out from two additional windows and stay snug throughout the seasons courtesy of the wood-burner-powered central heating.
Ahead from the landing is the family bathroom, recently decorated and newly fitted with sand-toned stone tiles and plain white ceiling. A simple and stylish retreat, the chrome towel rail is once more heated from the log-burner below. Enjoy a refreshing soak in the bath, with its overhead shower. A toilet and sink are also housed in here.
Boasting arguably the best view in the house is the second bedroom, located at the front of Dunsley Rock Cottage. A spacious double bedroom with whitewashed walls and an original robust black cast-iron fireplace, linger by the window to admire the high up views over the valley and across to the floating church in Kinver, so-named according to local legend because wherever you are it always appears in your eye-line!
Nestled at the rear of the cottage, discover a cosy double bedroom with two windows, one of which overlooks the hot-tub on the back decking. Freshly carpeted in the same style of the entire upstairs, this could be a private guest bedroom for visiting family and friends.
If you go down to the woods today…you’re sure of a big surprise.
Specifically, over an acre of tiered gardens that continue down through the trees and onto the moorings of the canal below.
A true oasis, Dunsley Rock Cottage enjoys its own microclimate, high up and yet set back in the caves. There is an element of the tropical about the place in the summertime, adding to the home’s mystique.
To the front of the house lies a glorious sun terrace, high up and south facing. Sit back here in this sun trap watching the world go by as the canal boats punt serenely along the canal. Below the raised seating area at the edge, a retaining wall separates you from the footpath which goes along the front.
Pass beneath the blooming blossoms of the cherry tree and down onto the next tier, made up of a lawned area, wildlife pond and greenhouse – ideal for nurturing your home grown produce.
Take another set of steps down and onto another tier with a further sunny strip of lawn and mooring space for two boats on the canal.
To the rear, ancient woodland stretches out – meaning a plentiful supply of logs for your stove
OWNER QUOTE: “We use what’s available, there are only a handful of houses here, so there’s a community feel, we help each other out.”
Jewel in the crown of this treasured garden is its secluded hot-tub found around the back right on the corner of the decking behind the bathroom – perfectly private and irresistibly indulgent.
Out and about
Cocooned in the embrace of nature, a plethora of walks and bike rides lies at your feet.
Pull on your walking boots and amble down to the river. From here you can walk through the field and over the bridge at Whittington, down to the river and over the canal (the River Stour runs alongside the canal) from which point you can then walk around the back.
Cycle along the canal tow path, explore Kinver Edge, with shorter walks to the Hillfort available as well as longer rambles to Nanny’s Rock. Explore the abundance of wildlife that shares its home with yours; look out for the metallic sheen of the green hairstreak butterfly and keep a keen ear out for the evocative call of the skylark.
For a leisurely day out, don your captain’s hat and take your boat along the river and see the sights from the water.
OWNER QUOTE: “When you walk along the canal tow path opposite, you really see the splendour of the house, it’s so quaint.”
Secluded but still very much a part of the local community, convenient amenities are on our doorstep.
Nestled between Whittington and Kinver, explore the local watering holes. Why not take a stroll to The Manor House in Whittington, only ten minutes away. For an even closer thirst slaking experience, head to the Vine pub in Kinver, only five minutes’ walk from the cottage. Meanwhile, the Cross Keys, on the other side of the river, is accessible within a ten-minute walk.
For the weekly shop, nearby Stourbridge has a well-stocked Waitrose, while Kinver has a Co-op for all the daily essentials and more. A well-provisioned village, you can find a greengrocer, butcher, chemist, doctor, hairdresser and bank in this friendly country village.
OWNER QUOTE: “It would suit gentle folk who are wanting to love the landscape.”
If an idyllic, peaceful lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of 21st century living appeals to you, if you respect nature and want to reconnect, if you love the woods, coast and rivers too, Dunsley Rock Cottage is a multi-faceted and rare gem of a property that ticks each and every one of these boxes.
Come along soon and see for yourself.