Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Strid



The River Wharfe winds its languid way through the Bolton Abbey estate, a broad and shallow river with a few areas of scree and rock outcrop where it tumbles into gentle waterfalls and rapids. There is, however, one unusual natural feature known as The Strid. Here the channel narrows dramatically, from about forty feet wide to just four feet, forcing the water through at great pressure, churning through the rocks and twisting through a series of bends. The noise is deafening. No-one knows just how deep the channel is, as the force of the current makes it impossible to fathom and there are probably subterranean channels under the rock too. It has drawn many visitors, since Victorian times when a railway was established to bring day trippers to Bolton Abbey from the nearby cities. Some of those visitors are tempted to try to leap the gorge. A few have succeeded but, of those who failed, none have survived and in some cases their bodies have never been found. The most recent fatalities were in 1998 when a couple on honeymoon were swept away in a flash flood. There are inevitably many folk tales linked to the area. A spectral white horse is said to rise from the river to claim its victims.

6 comments:

  1. It's a while since I've been up to Wharfedale, but your photos are bringing it all back.

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  2. Your photograph really shows the energy of the water!
    Liz

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  3. How pretty. That water looks like its moving fast!

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  4. It looks beautiful. You do want to be careful around white water.

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  5. One needs to respect raging water like this. I will never understand people who make such dumb decisions to challenge the water.

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