Queen Victoria Memorial
Clapham, along with Austwick, is now by-passed by the A65, which has helped to create a beautiful tranquil setting of a village split by Clapham Beck. The houses of the village line the leafy Beck along with a memorial to Queen Victoria.
New Inn Public House
The public house, the New Inn, is an imposing building overlooking the Beck, which a little further upstream is crossed by two attractive bridges. Next to the second of these is St James Church, parts of which date from the fifteenth century. The interior has tall octagonal piers and the ends of old pews, Jacobean style, are used as wall panelling. The church itself is sited on the Craven Fault.
Next to the church at the entrance to Ingleborough Hall is the Millennium stone, which has recently been added by the villagers. The community of Clapham rallied together in the year 2000 to obtain a permanent reminder of the village of Clapham and its people.
Ingleborough Hall itself is now used as an outdoor centre, but was formerly the home of the Farrer family. The Farrer family also created the wooded grounds and a lake, which are also within the estate. Access through these woods to Ingleborough Cave is along the Reginald Farrer Nature Trail, via a small cottage where a small fee is payable. Reginald Farrer (1880-1926) was an internationally renowned botanist, and was responsible for bringing over a hundred new plants onto these shores from the Far East including Burma, China and Tibet. These included 24 species of rhododendron, 10 of which are still to be found in Clapham woods.
The waterfall at the bottom of the lake was used to drive a turbine, which produced electrical power for Clapham, which was one of the first villages in the country to have electric streetlights. Michael Faraday, one of the country's greatest scientists was the son of the village blacksmith.
The Nature trail leads up to Ingleborough Cave, the inner chambers of which were discovered by the Farrers in 1837. Inside the floodlit cave, stalactites and stalagmites adorn the one kilometre journey through what must be one of the best show caves in Britain. Visitors go there to admire the wonderful rock formations such as the Sword of Damocles and the Pillar Hall. The cave itself lies at one of the outlets from the Gaping Gill cave system.
Winch day at Gaping Gill
Just past the cave, the limestone scenery spawns the spectacular gorge of Trowgill and numerous potholes, the most famous of which being Gaping Gill. Water falls over 100m into Britain's largest cavern, making it the highest unbroken waterfall in Britain. The cave underneath would comfortably swallow York Minster. Twice a year, on the second May bank holiday and the August one, two potholing clubs lower members of the public down into the hole to view the cavern, and then charge to get them back out.
In the large car park on which stands the National Park Centre is also the Tourist Information Centre.
|Walks near Clapham|