The Great Stone of Fourstones
This is an absolute cracker! It is HUGE and you can see it as you drive along the moor from Bentham. Fantastic views over to Ingleborough; climb up the carved steps and sit a-top this huge piece of stone and just gaze upon the view. A big old lump of rock in the middle of a very bleak and often featureless moor which makes it very hard to miss!
There seems to be a longheld tradition of carving names on this rock, some date back to the 1600's and are quite beautifully carved for graffiti puts the modern stuff to shame! There's also quite a few cupmarks carved into the top of the rock.
Some modern steps have been carved into it to and some much older steps carved around the back that look like footprints, it would have been very interesting to see the other three rocks and what carvings were on them. You can just make out the hollows on the ground of where the other stones were. The other three smaller erratics were allegedly broken up centuries ago for scythe sharpening stones.
BURIED IN ICE (Quaternary Period) Between 478,000 and 423,000 years ago, saw the whole area buried in ice. Massive erosion occurred and much of the present day landscape was shaped beneath ice-sheets and glaciers; this sculpting continued during another, more recent, ice age (30,000 to 12,000 years ago). This ice also moulded the gravelly clays of the valley bottoms into trains of rounded hills called drumlins. The ice transported rocks from far away and when it melted left behind exotic rocks called erratics perched on different rocks.
What is an erratic?
Erratic. A name often given to transported boulders, loose gravel and stones on the earth’s surface, including what is called drift.
Thus erratics can range in size from small pebbles to large boulders and may be found up to tens of kilometres away from their original bedrock location. In Ingleborough, erratics were generally carried into the area by glaciers, but many have since been reworked and redeposited by rivers on or under river floodplains, and humans in building and land clearing are significant agents of erratic transport and deposition. Thus houses, walls and roads will all contain erratic material.
Geologists identify erratics by studying the bedrock type surrounding the position of the erratic, and the rock of the erratic itself. Erratics that were not transported by human agency were once considered evidence of a biblical flood, but in the 19th Century scientists gradually came to accept that the majority of Wicker's erratics pointed to an Ice Age in Britains past. The rocks initially either dropped on top of glacial ice as part of a rockfall or landslide, or were incorporated into the ice by plucking them, or breaking them off as fragments from the underlying bedrock and picking them up from their position in bedrock. The glaciers continued to move, carrying the rocks with it. When the ice melted, the erratics were left in their present locations. They are therefore a faithful record of past ice flow directions.
To log this Earth Cache you have a small notice board near the parking area that will help with your answers, then it's a two minute walk to the stone for a picture of you or your GPS.
PLEASE email me with your answers :-
1 When did the glaciers retreat?
2 350,000,000 years ago, the Dales area was a ?
ANY logs without a photo and an email will be deleted.