On the B6265 road between Ripon and
strange and fantastic natural
rock formations can be seen on an area of moorland overlooking Nidderdale, some
1,000 feet above sea level. Pateley Bridge
Know as Brimham Rocks, they are unique amongst natural rock formations throughout
Europe and appear to be the result of receding glaciers
of the last ice age, denuding a thick fragmented layer of gritstone, which down
the centuries was eroded by the action of wind, rain and frost. Softer layers in the sandstone eroded quicker
than the harder deposits and as a result individual rocks have been left in
shapes as fantastic as they are grotesque, with profiles that bear striking
resemblances to animals and other objects.
The most famous is the idol rock, said
to weigh some 200 tons and is supported on a pedestal not more then 15”
thick. Others are the Anvil, Elephant,
Turtle, Lion, Dog, Space Ship and many more.
The area is now under the care of the National Trust.