3 Apr 2008

Malham


With Easter arriving ridiculously early this year we decided to head out down the road and visit Malham. Its only 40minutes away yet for some reason we have both never returned there since the obligatory school trips. We decided to take a good lunch first in the Buck Inn which consisted of Cod, Chips and Peas for Jackie and the house special of Homemade Malham and Masham Pie - (Chunks of beef cooked to perfection with our Old Peculiar Ale accompanied with baby onions, mushrooms and topped with Short Crust Pastry). The fish and its beer batter was excellent and despite the fact you could probably use the Pastry as extra armour plating on a Tank the pie was very tasty and tender as well; all this was washed down with a nice bottle of Shiraz in front of a roaring fire.

to be cont.


We walk out from the restaurant down the valley,aling the stream and watch the rock climbers attempting to climb the cove.
Standing some 80 metres high and 300 metres wide and north of the mid craven fault, Malham Cove is a curved crag of carboniferous limestone formed after the last ice age. Meltwater, particularly from Malham Tarn, cut back the cove as it fell over the edge as a waterfall. This erosion took place more actively at the lip of the fall rather than at the sides, hence the curved shape.




We then take the stone stairs to the left of the cove and climb to the top to the limestone pavement.
The magnificent limestone pavement on the surface of the Cove is deeply fissured and fretted by a pattern of channels. Chemical weathering due to the slightly acidic rain dissolves and widens the many joints of the limestone , carving the patterns that can be seen today. The resulting limestone pavement is known as 'clints' or 'grykes', where the naked limestone lumps are the clints and the fissures in between are the grykes. The grykes are home to many rare (shade-loving) plants - harts-tongue fern, wood-sorrel, wood-garlic, geranium, anemone, rue, and enchanter's nightshade.


From here we walk on to Gordale Scar where the weather decides to play strange tricks, giving us a 2minute blizzard as we sit at the base of the waterfall.
The sides of this gorge overhang to a considerable extent, suggesting that there was once a great cavern, the roof of which has subsequently collapsed.

On close observation remnants of this roof can been found to the right above the first waterfall. The left side of the cavern is noticable for its close and intimate vertical jointing dividing the limestone into thin plates sometimes less than an inch in thickness.

1 comment:

Chris said...

nice hats! for more info on Malham see www.malhamdale.com cheers Chris

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