VOLUNTEERS have unearthed historic rock house gardens at Kinver Edge after clearing away vegetation.

Vales Rock Houses, to the south of Kinver Edge, were occupied for hundreds of years, up until the 1960s.

Since then, the homes carved into the rock have been left derelict, but work has got underway to stabilise the unique structure.

Old photographs, maps and documentary records show the land in front of the houses were used as gardens but where flowers, fruit and vegetables were once grown the gardens have been lost under dense scrub over the years.

Janine Young, archaeology consultant for the National Trust which owns the site, said: “Once our team of volunteers started to clear the scrub and vegetation away from the area, hidden features soon began to emerge from the undergrowth. Old steps, sandstone path edging and walls, old bottles, and a water tank were all uncovered as work progressed.

"We’re going to continue the clearance work and archaeologically record all the features identified, investigating a few of them if required. This work is funded by Natural England and will help inform future management of the site, any potential restoration plans and enhance our knowledge about this already fascinating area.”

The site is not safe or accessible for visitors but, over time, it will be possible to see the views opening up around Vales Rock from the Rock Houses walking trail.

A walking map is available to download from the National Trust Kinver Edge website.