Folly Dolly Falls
Folly Dolly Falls is a delightful waterfall in a small valley in Meltham. Legend has it that a woman named Dolly lived at High Brow Cottages near the falls and got into financial difficulty – hence the ‘folly’. The walk to the falls takes you along the Meltham Greenway and the site of a disused railway line which once ran from Meltham to Lockwood. Please note there is a steep climb down to the stream. As Earthcache visitors you are fully aware that this beautiful place must not be damaged or spoilt in any way by your visit.
You can hear the falls from the Greenway, but you can’t see them. Go through the gateway in the wooden fence towards a metal gate in the field wall. You access the falls by going through the metal gate and the wooden gate and walking across to the new viewing point.
The face of the waterfall is a large sandstone exposure which has been classified by the West Yorkshire Geology Trust as Upper Carboniferous Huddersfield White Rock. The Carboniferous period was over 300 million years ago and the name ‘Carboniferous’ means coal-bearing, coming from the Latin ‘carbo’. At times during this period the deltas and flood plains of this area were covered by the sea. Some reddening of the sandstone can be seen. This has been caused by iron-rich minerals which have followed and stained lines of weakness. A fault plane lies to the left of the waterfall and runs in a small gully between the face of the waterfall and the shales. According to the West Yorkshire Geology Trust, this was caused by the shales being dragged upwards as the rocks moved violently and are dipping steeply. The fault plane is filled with gouge, a soft clay, which was formed during the fault movements when the shales were broken up.
The Huddersfield White Rock is not as course as other local gritstones, such as the Upper Carboniferous Midgley Grit found nearby at Pule Hill in Marsden; it is medium and fine grained sandstone. It has good examples of bedding planes known as cross-bedding. These planes were on the inside bed of a river channel and the sandstone deposits formed sandbanks. These sandbanks have recorded evidence of the ancient resident animals and the marine band here at Folly Dolly Falls has revealed fossils over the years.
Action to log your visit
1. Take a picture of you and/or your GPS with the falls behind.
2. Answer the question – how has the waterfall been formed
3. Estimate the height of the waterfall.
Email me with your answers to 2 & 3. Please do not log your answers on the cache page.