Artist pays £30,000 to live in cave with a view

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The Independent Online

A painter searching for an artistic retreat paid more than three times the asking price for a cave with no electricity or running water yesterday.

A painter searching for an artistic retreat paid more than three times the asking price for a cave with no electricity or running water yesterday.

The woman, who comes from Lincolnshire but was not named, paid more than £30,000 for the cave, known as Rock House, in Wolverley, Worcestershire, which had been on sale for £10,000.

The cave has three rooms, the largest being about the size of a living room in a terraced house. There is no lavatory but the shortcomings are compensated for by panoramic views of the Severn Valley. The property had attracted nationwide interest and 18 bids since being put on the market earlier this month.

The Kidderminster-based estate agent Andrew Grant said that the artist was delighted with her acquisition, despite paying more than three times the £10,000 guide price.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "We had 18 offers in total and the owner made his decision on Friday night. All we can say is that the new owner is an artist from Lincolnshire who will use it as an artistic retreat to indulge her passion for painting. It went for considerably more than £30,000."

The property is now subject to normal conveyancing procedures. The new owner is not planning to make any changes to the cave as there is a preservation order on it, the spokeswoman added.

The cave, which is one of up to 50 hewn out of the area's sandstone hillsides in the late 18th century, was thought to be the last inhabited cave in England until it was abandoned in the Fifties.

It was used as a cafe in the Second World War and was popular with American servicemen from a nearby base. It has been owned by the Horsford family, of Birmingham, for more than 100 years, but the last owner, Richard Horsford, was finding it difficult to maintain.

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

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