Gordale Scar

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Gordale Scar

Gordale Scar is a limestone ravine, through which flows the Gordale Beck, a mile north-east of Malham, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.[1]

The scar contains two waterfalls and has overhanging limestone cliffs over 350 feet high.

It is speculated that he gorge may have been formed by water from melting glaciers or a cavern collapse.

The Gordale Beck on leaving the gorge flows over Janet's Foss before joining Malham Beck two miles downstream to form the River Aire.[2] A right of way leads up the gorge, but requires climbing approximately 10 feet of tufa at the lower waterfall.

Poets and artists

William Wordsworth wrote in the sonnet Gordale, "let thy feet repair to Gordale chasm, terrific as the lair where the young lions couch".[3]

James Ward created a large and imaginative painting of the gorge, which can be seen in Tate Britain, named A View of Gordale, in the Manor of East Malham in Craven, Yorkshire, the Property of Lord Ribblesdale.[4]

J. M. W. Turner also painted a picture of it in 1816, also to be seen in Tate Britain.[5]


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Gordale Scar)


  1. Bagshaw, Mike; Mills, Caroline (2010). Alastair Sawday's Slow North Yorkshire: Moors, Dales & Coast, Including York. Alastair Sawday Publishing Co. Ltd. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-84162-323-8. 
  2. Fellows, Griffith: 'The waterfalls of England : a guide to the best 200' (Sigma Leisure, 2003) ISBN 1-85058-767-1, page 138
  3. William Wordsworth (2008). The Complete Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, in Ten Volumes - Vol. VII: 1816–1822. Cosimo. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-60520-263-1. 
  4. Gordale: James Ward
  5. Gordale Scar; Turner|first1=Joseph Mallord William Turner (Tate)