Gordale Scar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gordale Scar is a limestone ravine 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of Malham, North Yorkshire, England.[1] It contains two waterfalls and has overhanging limestone cliffs over 330 feet (100 m) high. The gorge could have been formed by water from melting glaciers or a cavern collapse. The stream flowing through the scar is Gordale Beck, which on leaving the gorge flows over Janet's Foss before joining Malham Beck 2 miles (3 km) downstream to form the River Aire.[2] A right of way leads up the gorge, but requires climbing approximately 10 feet (3 m) of tufa at the lower waterfall.

Notable visitors[edit]

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

Colin Tudge references this feature and James Ward's painting in his book The Time Before History.[6]

The waterfall was used as an exterior filming location in the 1982 film The Dark Crystal. Goredale Scar appears in the Netflix series The Witcher (S2 E3: "What is Lost").

Image gallery[edit]


  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 (2003). The waterfalls of England : a guide to the best 200. Wilmslow: Sigma Leisure. p. 138. ISBN 1-85058-767-1.
  3. ^ Wordsworth, William (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. ^ Ward, James. "Gordale Scar (A View of Gordale, in the Manor of East Malham in Craven, Yorkshire, the Property of Lord Ribblesdale)". Tate Galleries. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  5. ^ Turner, Joseph Mallord William. "Gordale Scar". Tate Galleries. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  6. ^ Tudge, Colin (1997). The Time Before History. Touchstone. pp. 14ff.

Coordinates: 54°04′19″N 2°07′51″W / 54.07194°N 2.13083°W / 54.07194; -2.13083