Stainforth Force

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Stainforth Force
Stainforth Force, upper fall - - 1452114.jpg
Stainforth Force
River: River Ribble
Fall: 8 feet
Co-ordinates: 54°6’0"N, 2°16’44"W

'Stainforth Force (also known as Ribble Falls), is a cascade waterfall eight feet tall on the River Ribble by Stainforth, three miles north of Settle in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The waterfall is a popular tourist attraction in autumn when salmon are migrating up the river.


Stainforth Force is a small cascade waterfall about 50 yards south of Stainforth Bridge,[1] and some three miles north of Settle, in the West Riding.

The partially eroded rock that the water travels over here is the Chapel House Limestone, which has been exposed by a small anticline.[2] However, to make the way for migrating salmon easier, the Yorkshire Dales National Park carved the rock " an inconspicuous way.."[3]

In autumn the spot is a popular tourist attraction on account of the salmon leaping up the falls to reach the spawning grounds upriver.[4][5] The plunge pool below the last fall, described as being "..a dark, [and] sinister-looking pool..", is popular with wild swimmers, and the site is also a popular stopping point on the Ribble Way.[6][7][8]

The site was also said to have been a favoured location of Edward Elgar, who visited his friend Dr Buck who was living in Settle at the time.[9][10] A picture of Elgar stood on the bridge is said to have been up on Elgar's wall at his house.[3]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Stainforth Force)


  1. Johnson, Thomas; Haworth, Charles (1882). A pictorial handbook to the valley of the Ribble. Blackburn: Haworth & Johnson. p. 148. OCLC 25351581. 
  2. Murray, D. W. (1983). The limestone and dolomite resources of the country around Settle and Malham, North Yorkshire : with notes on the hard rock resources of the Horton-in-Ribblesdale area : description of parts of 1:50,000 geological sheets 50 and 60. London: Institute of Geological Sciences, Natural Environment Research Council. p. 7. ISBN 0118843265. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mitchell, W. R. (1999). The story of the Yorkshire Dales. Chichester: Phillimore. p. 71. ISBN 1860770886. 
  4. "Stainforth Force". 
  5. Newton, Grace (14 October 2020). "Crowds gather at Stainforth Force in the Yorkshire Dales to catch sight of incredible salmon migration spectacle". The Yorkshire Post. 
  6. Scholes, Ron (2006). Yorkshire Dales. (3 ed.). Ashbourne: Landmark. p. 66. ISBN 1843062097. 
  7. "Stainforth Foss". 
  8. Turner, Janice (8 May 2021). "Wild Swimming". The Times (Weekend) (73466): p. 8. SSN 0140-0460. 
  9. Quantrill, Tim (10 October 2014). "A walk in spectacular scenery". Craven Herald. 
  10. "Tumbling waters of Yorkshire Dales fall inspired composer Elgar". The Yorkshire Post. 6 August 2018.