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March 29, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Rare photo of cave dwellers

CNV00016 Cave dwellersSeveral known caves in Shropshire’s red sandstone rock along the banks of the River Severn were known to have been occupied. I’ve just been sent this fabulous photo of the family living in a cave near Bridgnorth. Mr Greenhorn now lives in York, but spent his holidays as a child visiting his grandparents Edwin & Sarah Davies at 12 Cheswardine Lane. A possible reason how Mr Greenhorn has this photo is that his mother, Jessie Davies was perhaps friends with Ann Syner, the girl in this photo. (They went to Norton School together). Ann’s with her mother & grandfather, whose names I don’t [yet] know.

All I’ve heard so far about the cave dwellers is that their work was related to river transport. The River Severn was as important as motorways are now to us, for transporting raw materials up river & finished [iron] products down stream. I’m not yet sure when the caves were last occupied – I’ve heard as late as the 1960s.

Ann Syner & her mother certainly look very well turned out, clean & tidy – not at all what you might expect of cave dwellers. The entrance to the house looks very smart with a sort of paving in front of the door.

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