A 7 mile walk around Austwick and the Norber Erratics.
Table of Contents
- what3words for start point: ///depending.prouder.baroness
- Start Point: The Green, Austwick, Lancaster LA2 8BB
- Finish Point: The Green, Austwick, Lancaster LA2 8BB
- Distance: 7 Miles
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Austwick was first settled by Vikings, its name means ‘eastern farm’ as at that time the main village in the area was Clapham. It is a delightful village, with a near-perfect scene of old stone cottages facing across a small green complete with an old ‘Yorkshire West Riding’ road sign and the remains of the market cross. It retains a village atmosphere with shop, pub, hotel and school. Of particular note is Austwick Hall, a fine house dating back to at least the early 16th Century originally built as a fortified manor house.
To the west of the village are ancient ploughing terraces known as lynchets, flat terraces cut into the hillside wide enough for oxen to pull a plough; these terraces allowed crops to be grown on the otherwise steep valley sides. Some may date back to the early Anglian farmers who settled in this area, although most are medieval.
From Thwaite Lane, a path leads off to reach the foot of the impressive limestone screes of Robin Proctor’s Scar caused by the North Craven Fault. The scar is said to be named after a local farmer who fell to his death from these limestone cliffs whilst out riding his horse.
The famous Norber Erratics can be found on the limestone plateau above these scars. Literally hundreds of large Silurian slate boulders were carried here by a glacier during the last Ice Age some 12,000 years ago from the western slopes of Crummackdale. Over the centuries, the surrounding limestone bedrock has slowly eroded away leaving the more resistant (and darker) slate boulders perched on thin limestone pedestals. Known to geologists and geography students nationwide, these are classic examples of glacial erratics. The Silurian slate boulders are 100 million years older than the Carboniferous limestone they sit on.