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23. Crummack Dale and a circular Walk from Austwick via the spectacular Norber Erratics

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The cross in the centre of Austwick

Ramble-ramblers-rambling-walks-walking-footpaths-bridleways: These pictures illustrate Walk 27 "CRUMMACKDALE" from the Collins Rambler's Guide "Yorkshire Dales" by David Leather and has something of a geological walking theme. The walk starts in Austwick Village and from there you visit the famous Norber erratics (some of the best in Britain) and the small 'limestone basined' Crummack Dale and returning to Austwick via the tiny hamlet of Wharfe.

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The village green in Austwick, another lovely Dales village of grey stone houses and cottages. There is a good village shop and Austwick is a popular starting point for rambles in Crummack dale. The village of Austwick is recorded in the Norman Domesday Book of 1086.

 

A nice old red Morris car in Austwick (JFO 219 for the 'car spotters'!) and some of the even older stone houses too!

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Austwick Village Green surrounded by attractive grey limestone cottages, and some date from the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Thwaites in Austwick - The Game Cock - getting ready for another day's business and a popular pub for walkers after much local rambling.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

You pass Austwick Hall , the oldest building in the village,  and Town Head Farm on the road heading north up to Nappa Scars and the Norber erratics.

 

Looking north to Norber and Nappa Scars from Thwaite Lane

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The view east across to Long Scar - huge stretches of attractive limestone ridges and great walking scenery for the rambler to enjoy.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

On the track approaching Nappa scars - above on the right plateau is where you find the Norber erratics.

 

Long Scar and scree on the hills of Norber

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The limestone rock formations on Nappa Scar with a large cairn at the top and the first of the Norber erratics in the foreground.

 

The view east on ascending Nappa Scars

 

The view west ascending Nappa Scars

 

The view south from Nappa Scars

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The Norber erratics lying on limestone pavements. These blocks of Norber are huge boulders of very old Silurian sandstone (Austwick sandstone) perched on the limestone pavement. They were transported up onto the limestone plateau by a powerful glacier. They are called 'erratics' because the rocks are not in their natural geological position.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The Norber erratics are easily distinguished from the limestone pavement they stand on. The erratics are a darker stone and covered in a pale green lichen which only grows on the Austwick sandstone, whereas as the lighter coloured pale grey limestone has white lichen on it.

 

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

 

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

-The limestone pavement has been eroded away so that the erratics appear perched on the residual limestone which erodes at about 1 inch/2.5 cm per 1000 years - this has been estimated from the erosion of the pillars supporting the Norber erratics.

 

 

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

A good view of some erratics and the underlying limestone pavement.

 

A great example of a Norber erratic resting on the limestone pavement

 

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

A somewhat precariously perched erratic!

 

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

An erratic perched on the edge!

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The unconformity on Norber Brow as you head east down to Crummack Lane - not too scary for the walker - a steep drop on the right!

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The unconformity is easily seen on Norber Brow - beneath the upper layer of limestone the lower layer are clearly different and the limestone is mixed with a conglomerate rock containing pebbles and in the fields east of Crummack Lane you can see the underlying basement rocks of sandstone are quite steeply angled. These facts indicate that the basement rocks were being eroded on an ancient beach as the Carboniferous sea covered the land.

 

The view southeast from the narrow path on Norber Brow

 

The view south from Norber Brow

 

The path from Norber Brow heading west towards the ford and footbridge northwest of Wharfe

 

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Looking east to Studrigg Scar and Long Scar.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

In the fields below (east of) the Nappa Scars, and west of Crummack Lane,  lie the source of the Norber erratics.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

More erratics for the walkers to spot!

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Looking east to Studrigg Scar etc. of the limestone ridges on the east side of lower Crummack Dale and in the foreground the much older underlying layers of basement rocks of Austwick sandstone are quite steeply angled and date from ~440 million years ago in the Ordovician age.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

An alternative route is to heading north up Crummack Lane towards Austwick Beck Head. Crummack Dale, as marked on the OS Map OL2 is only about 2 miles by about 0.5 miles (~3.2 km x 0.8 km) and is mainly made of Carboniferous limestone - but as we have seen there are geological signs of the much older basement rocks that lie beneath - the Norber erratics.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Swaledale sheep - rams/'tups' with fine pairs of horns!

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Looking north into the heart of upper Crummack Dale with Moughton Scars directly ahead.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

A traditional Dales barn on the west side of lovely 'green lane' northern part of Crummack Lane.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Moughton Scars.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The footbridge near Moughton Spring. There are lots of springs in the area where the limestone layers come into contact with the impervious layers of older sandstone.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The dry stone walled 'green track' that goes over to Horton in Ribblesdale - another good walk.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Looking back to Moughton Scars as we head south on the track to Wharfe on Moughton Lane.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

-

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The limestone ridges or 'scars' on the western slopes of Moughton.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

-

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Looking west from the track to Wharfe - somewhere up there on the eastern slopes Thwaite is the line of the unconformity, but I can't spot it!

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The track narrows and 'rambles' between tall drystone walls below Studrigg Scar.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The limestone edges of eastern lower Crummack Dale are popular with rock climbers as well as ramblers.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Scenes of the rock climbers on Studrigg Scar? via telephoto lens.

 

The shorter route involves crossing the modern clapper bridge  northwest of Wharfe

Ian, Phillipe, Chris, Molly, Pam and Phil

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Entering the tiny hamlet of Wharfe from the north.

 

A narrow walled line track winds its way down into Wharfe

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Wharfe - not a lot to it!

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Horse riders heading south from Wharfe.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Wharfe and the Mouton limestone ranges.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The camp site and garden at Wood End Farm, Austwick.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Looking back to where we started - Nappa Scars from near Wood End Farm, east of Austwick Village.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The clapper bridge east of Austwick on the path from Wood Lane track to Austwick. Its an easy short walk from Austwick and a good picnic spot.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The clapper bridge is called Flascoe Bridge.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The clapper bridge of large flat stone slabs.

 

Austwick from Wood Lane, an alternative route back.

 

Wood Lane - heading back to the bridge over Austwick Beck

 

The view east from Austwick Bridge over the Austwick Beck

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Back to Austwick Hall to visit the gardens - it was an NGS (National Gardens Scheme) day for raising funds for Macmillan cancer and it was pleasing to note there were lots of visitors contributing to this worthy fund.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Austwick Hall Gardens.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Austwick Hall Gardens.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Austwick Hall Gardens.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

Austwick Hall Gardens.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The church of the Epiphany, Austwick. There may have been a chapel-of-ease in the village by the late Middle Ages and the villagers had there own minister until the 1650's, but this ceased in the Civil War activity in the 1650's. So, it was not until 200 hundred years later that a church was re-established. This present church or chapel was built in 1839.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The main body of the church - the nave, chancel and altar.

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The 'apse', altar and four east stained glass windows - all four shown in detail below.

 

Most of the fine stained glass windows were made by Lavers and Westlake of London between 1870 and 1880. Many large stained glass companies adopted a pictorial style inspired by the work of the glass craftsmen of the 16th century.

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

 

Crummack Dale Austwick Walk

The lower west stained glass window ..

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