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Monday, 21 August, 2000, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Cave becomes artist's 'des res'
estate agent shows buyer round cave
Cave painting: More than 50 people viewed the property
A three-roomed cave with no electricity or running water has been bought by an artist for more than three times its guide price of 10,000.

Rock House in Wolverley, Worcestershire, which boasts panoramic views over the Severn Valley, looks set to provide artistic inspiration for the un-named buyer.

Kidderminster-based estate agent Andrew Grant said the female artist, who comes from Lincolnshire, was delighted with the acquisition despite paying more than 30,000 for her 'des res'.

A spokeswoman told BBC News Online that the unusual property attracted more than 18 bidders, with intended uses ranging from a children's play den to a yoga centre.

"The new owner is an artist who will use it as an artistic retreat to indulge her passion for painting," she said.

Preservation order

The property is now subject to normal conveyancing procedures, but the new owner is not planning to make any changes to the cave as it is subject to a preservation order, the spokeswoman added.
Viewer Janine Christley checks out the interior
Janine Christley views the interior of Rock House

The unusual dwelling was thought to be the last inhabited cave in England when it was abandoned in the 1950s.

A family from Birmingham owned Rock House, one of up to 50 caves hewn into sandstone hillsides in the area in the late 18th century, for more than 100 years.

Literature advertising the sale listed its attractions as off-road parking and a setting in 1.27 acres of woodland.

Offering only minimal mod cons, the cave boasts a lockable front door and is partially carpeted.

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15 Aug 00 | Europe
Cave for sale at 10,000
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