Malham Cove stands 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, hence the curved shape.
|Limestone pavement at Malham|
sq km of the Yorkshire Dales National Park has been described as wild, expansive,
tranquil and at times awesome and bleak.
Malham is one of its most bizarre
landscapes, looking almost lunar in places, with its massive slabs of rock and
The area's classic limestone scenery features cliffs, crags,
Malham Cove is a limestone pavement formed after the last Ice Age
by meltwater, largely from Malham Tarn.
The cliffs are 80m high by 300
m across, and this amazing area is amongst the top ten geological wonders of Britain.
resulting limestone pavement on the surface of the cove is characterised by limestone
blocks called clints and fissures called grykes.
Limestone is very susceptible
to weathering and this erosion has resulted in the limestone pavement.
of the best limestone pavements are a few miles to the north east at the Ingleborough
The microclimate of the grykes is more humid and slightly
warmer than on the pavement itself resulting in a different range of vegetation.
grykes are rich in plant life including Ferns, Wood Sorrel, Dog's Mercury, and
At the top of the limestone the vegetation changes - look out
for the delicate, yellow Rock Rose, and the herbaceous Thyme.
love dry, stony conditions, little soil and limestone. A good place to see this
landscape is around Grassington.
The National Park is not a totally natural place - the countryside
has been created by the activities of people making a living from the land for
thousands of years.
The geology of the Yorkshire Dales is sedimentary rocks
from the Carboniferous Age. This appears on the surface as limestone pavement.
rocks were created under seas and buried by deposits which themselves formed rocks.
Since then the whole area has been lifted above sea level and the overlying
rocks worn away by natural processes
The quarrying industry in the Dales
dates back hundreds of years. Stone from small local pits was used to create the
distinctive Dales landscape of dry-stone walls, field barns, farmsteads and villages.
quarrying today is a far cry from cottage industry times - it is big business
in the Dales.
In 1993 around 4.1 million tonnes of rock were quarried within
the National Park area, by 1994 this figure had risen to 4.7 million tonnes.
origins of the village of Malham can be traced back to the Anglian settlement
of the Dales during the 7th and 8th centuries.
The village as seen
today was established in the 17th century. Since that time there has been relatively
little increase in the built-up area.
mines to tourism
Mining (lead and zinc) and the wool trade have been important
in the area's development.
While sheep and cattle rearing continue to be
a strong influence, tourism is the most significant economic activity
carved antler harpoon found in Victoria Cave near Settle believed to be 11,000
years old is the earliest and most reliable evidence of people in the area.
were drawn to the Dales long before it became a National Park. The area's dramatic
landscapes were sought out by writers and artists in the 18th century.
1781 there was already a tour guide to the caves in the Ingleborough and Settle
As transport improved, so the number of visitors increased. By the
late 19th century new railways had been built across the Dales and railway guides
recommended local beauty spots accessible from their stations.