Home with a hidden secret

Jan 19, 2016

You know how the sayings go, never judge a book by its cover; there’s more to it than meets the eye; good things come in small packages… well for this modest mid-terrace home in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, these all apply.

From the outside it looks like any other mid-terrace home. However, as soon as you step through the door, it immediately becomes clear that this property is anything but ordinary.


The house, on sale for £200,000, was formerly owned by eccentric artist Antony Dracup, who spent years integrating the sandstone cave at the back of the property into his home. The property boasts two bedrooms, a lounge, a galley kitchen, a hidden roof garden and impressive vaulted ceilings – oh yeah, and the secret cave.


Mr Dracup, who died in 2002, aged 72, spent most of his lifetime leaving his own personal mark on each of the homes that he lived in. He would usually add arches, pillars and stained glass windows, however, with this specific property, it underwent a particularly impressive overhaul.


After leaving his office job to become a professional artist in 1963, Mr Dracup, moved into this house in the 80s. He then spent years, by hand, levelling the floors and chiselling away at the cave to create a huge entrance space with 24 pillars and vaulted ceilings. Magnificent.


The gothic style archways are created from recycled sand from the excavation. As a result of his grueling hard work, Mr Dracup had added around 650 sq ft of extra space. The cave itself makes up more than half of the home’s overall footprint.


Mr Dracup explained, on a website dedicated to his work, that he simply wasn’t ‘satisfied’ with the perfunctory cave in the garden which came with the property. He decided to turn the staircase inside the house around and build an extra layer of bricks to soundproof the home. On top of the cave there are two bedrooms, an attic room and there is also a galley kitchen and a lounge downstairs.

By the mid 90s Mr Dracup’s work on the house was finished. If the property didn’t seem amazing enough, he also added a garden terrace above the cave which he filled with intricate features, which apparently led to a local aerial surveyor once mistaking it for a Roman ruin. An easy mistake to make I am sure!