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GORDALE SCAR

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GORDALE SCAR, in the parish of Kirkby Malhamdale; 7 miles from Settle, 13 from Skipton:

Gordale Scar is an immense Rock which, it is said to have had an opening forced in it by a great body of water, which collected in a sudden thunder storm, sometime about the year, 1730; and now forms one of the most awfully grand scenes of rock and water in Craven; the highest part being not less than 300 feet; the right or east side projects more than ten yards over its base, and such is the noise of the overwhelming torrent, after rain, that if a person be under the rock, he is unable to make himself heard at ten yards distance. This is a solid mass of limestone, of, perhaps, equal height with Malham Cove, cleft assunder by some great convulsion of nature, and opening "its ponderous marble jaws on the right and left. At the very entrance, you turn a little to the right, and are struck by a yawning mouth in the face of the opposite crag, whence the torrent, pent up beyond, suddenly forced a passage, within the memory of man, which, at every swell continues to spout out of one of the boldest and most beautiful cataracts that can be conceived. Wherever a cleft in the rock, or a lodgment of earth appears, the yew tree, indigenous in such situations, contrasts it deep and glossy green with the pale grey of the limestone, but the goat, the old adventurous inhabitant of situations inaccessible to every other quadruped, has been lately banished from the sides of Gordale. --Whitaker's Craven.

[Description(s) edited from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson © 2013]