Friday, June 04, 2010

Bird's eye view of Settle, North Yorkshire

click photos to enlarge 
There can't be very many small towns in the UK where a panorama as revealing as the one in today's photograph can be achieved by a five minute walk. However, that's all it takes to get this marvellous bird's-eye view of Settle in North Yorkshire. Towering over the centre of the town is the limestone cliff called Castlebergh. It is surmounted by a flagpole which on the day of our recent visit was flying the cross of St George. Two steep, rocky paths take the intrepid up through some trees to the point where they converge on the flat summit of this vantage point. Hills and limestone crags continue upwards behind you as you stand at the top and gaze over the town. On the distant horizon is the edge of the moorland known as the Forest of Bowland. To the left, out of view is the valley of the River Ribble and far off Pendle Hill, while to the right the valley extends up to Stackhouse, Stainforth, Horton in Ribblesdale and the area of the Three Peaks.

When I was growing up in Settle I often made the trip to the top of Castlebergh to play or to simply take in the view. At that time ivy, small rowan and wallflowers clung precariously to the cliff face, but today it has been largely cleared of plants and loose rock and has become a location for climbers. The view in 2010 has much that is the same as the view of fifty years ago, and quite a lot that is different. The town has spread, green fields have been filled with buildings, and the boundary between Settle and the village of Giggleswick (on the other side of the River Ribble) is less clear than formerly. However, the railway still runs through the town on its embankment, and the old part of the settlement clustered below the rock and around the market place is relatively unchanged. I've included a separate shot of the town centre with Ye Olde Naked Man Cafe (see post of 31st May 2010). You might like to find the building in the panoramic image too.

I took these shots on an unseasonally cold late May day when we went to do a little shopping and decided to include a detour to the top of Castlebergh. The wind was sufficiently strong for us to have to put on jackets - in my wife's case a backpacking waterproof cagoule that looks a little incongruous alongside her handbag.

photographs & text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1 (Photo 2)
Camera: Lumix LX3 (Olympus E510)
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.) (61mm (122mm/35mm equiv.))
F No: f4 (f6.3)
Shutter Speed: 1/640 (1/640)
ISO: 80 (100)
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 (-0.3) EV
Image Stabilisation: On