The dry valley of Watlowes above Malham Cove. The stream, outflowing from Malham Tarn is far underground seeping its way through fissures and cracks in the limestone. On the right is Ing Scar and Crag whilst on the top the Ordnance Survey map indicates a prehistoric settlement and field system. A dramatic place to live.

Malham Cove

Late Sunday afternoon. The tourists are departing the honey pot of Malham Cove but the climbers show no sign of calling it a day. I was amazed at the number there. Many were using long telescopic poles to click their krabs and ropes onto anchor bolts set in the limestone that would otherwise have been out of reach. I must be out of touch.

Stanghow Moor

Stanghow Moor, more sphagnum moss than heather. Bisecting it is a well defined boundary between the parishes of Stanghow and Guisborough with a series of boundary stones. This is one of several that are limestone, unusual on the sandstone capped moorland but a stratum of interbedded limestone/sandstone does outcrop south towards Commondale. It would be interesting to known where this stone was quarried. It must have taken some effort to transport here.

I haven’t been able to find out who SK and AWᴰ were but TC must refer to Thomas Chaloner, Lord Gisborough. In 1814 King George III had was developing his final stages of his madness what we understand now as dementia. It would be another year before The Napoleonic Wars were over and in London a large vat full of beer at Meux’s Brewery burst, demolishing buildings and killing nine people.

Sneaking into the photo on the left is not a Barghest nor a Gytrash but my faithful hound, Kirby.


Another one of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. Ingleborough. Seen from Dub Cote on the southern foothills of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough is just a blimp on the horizon overshadowed by the great scar of Horton quarry which seems to have taken over half the mountain in its search for limestone.

Kepwick Incline

Kepwick is a small village on the western edge of the North York Moors. The moors above Kepwick are limestone and was extensively quarried. This incline was used to haul the stone 800′ down to the valley floor below. Presumably there would have been a bridge carrying the incline over the road Kepwick to Hawnby road. The waggonway then continued 3½ miles to the kilns on the Thirsk to Yarm road. It was last used in 1893.

Norber Erratic

I walked past this boulder yesterday on a hillside named Norber above the village of Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales. Visibility then was poor, just a few metres, so I rejected the photo. Today was a little better so a revisit for a second look. It is one of many boulders scattered around the hillside. Made of gritstone, a noticeably different rock to the limestone plateau on which it rests. Gritstone is much darker and coarser than limestone and the boulders are what are known as erratics, transported by glaciers and deposited here when the ice melted 12,000 years ago. Rain has slowly dissolved the limestone pavement over the years but that rock immediately below the boulder has been protected. The result is the pedestals on which the boulders rest. The gritstone boulders originate a mile away in Crummackdale.

Link to map.

Clints and Grikes

A foggy day in Limestone country. It did look, mid morning, that the fog would burn off but it actually became denser. So no stunning views today. The Yorkshire Dales contain some of the best examples of upland limestone pavements in the country. Limestone is soluble in water and over the millennia rain penetrates faults and weaknesses in the rock forming crevices which are ecological refuges for many wild flowers and ferns adapted to limestone soils, safe from the weather and hungry sheep. The local name for these crevices is ‘grikes’ whilst the remaining columns are ‘clints’. This limestone pavement was on the foothills of Ingleborough north of the village of Austwick.