Astle One-Name Study
with Astles, Astell & Astill
Astles Rock, Kinver, Staffordshire, England
Kinver (Kinfare) is a small village famous for the unique “Rock Houses” which were cut into the soft sandstone ridge of Kinver Edge. One of the houses at Holy Austin Rock has been restored by the National Trust and is open to visitors.
On current maps there is an Astles Rock Walk at Kinver which leads up to a different part of the Kinver Edge nearby. This would indicate that Astles Rock is separate from Holy Austin Rock.
Astle’s [sic] Rock is situated on that side of Kinver Edge known as the “COMPA” and is to the east of Holy Austin Rock. The rock had two cottages set into it in 1831. By 1841 these had been enlarged to 3 or 4 tenants. One of the three, Joseph Astle outlived the others and died aged 87. By 1871 a total of 13 occupied the rock cottages and possibly some ordinary cottages close by. Some were employed at Hyde Ironworks. In the early 20th Century Astle’s [sic] Rock was owned by Mr Fairbridge who had a museum here which lasted for over 20 years, after which the caves were left empty.” (The Staffordshire Encyclopaedia (Tim Cockin, Malthouse Press, 2000.)
On the 1841 census the location where Joseph Astle and his family and at least two other small households are living, is enumerated simply as “Rock”. By the 1851 census and thereafter, the location is enumerated as “Astles Rock” and included at least six households.
Joseph Astle was born in Ticknall, Derbyshire, in about 1788 and he married Lucy Watkins of Kingswinford Staffordshire on 11th July 1819, at Elford, Staffordshire. Joseph and Lucy had at least two children, Mary Ann who was baptised at Ticknall on 10th February 1822, and John who was baptised on Christmas Day 1828 at Kinver.
Joseph and Lucy were still living at Astles Rock at the time of the 1871 census when their daughter Mary Ann Parkes (a widow aged 49) was living next door. Joseph died on 24 March 1875 at Kinver aged 87. The beneficiaries of his will were his wife Lucy, his daughter Mary Ann Parkes, his brother Thomas, and his sisters Sarah Bailey and Elizabeth Beaumont.
By the 1881 census Lucy is a ‘Proprietor of Houses’ at a location enumerated as ‘the Forest’ at Kinver. Her daughter Mary Ann is still living next door, but this time with her second husband Richard Hooper. Lucy died in 1885 aged 85.
Click on the map image to view a zoomable Google map.