Saturday, November 02, 2013

Catrigg Force, Stainforth

click photo to enlarge
"Deep down on your left is the partly wooded defile in which runs the turbulent beck that riots among the wild rocks and cliffs of Catterick. Follow the glen up along the top until there are signs of its disappearance among the tracts of heather. A little below this point you will come to the highest and grandest of the waterfalls, which, after a flood, makes a sublime sight, hardly to be matched in Yorkshire, and that is saying a great deal. The water comes down a lofty ravine, thickly clothed with trees and flowering shrubs, (amongst the latter the giant rose-bay, the finest of the willow-herbs, gives an effective colour), and falls in two magnificent leaps into a shadowy pool below, running then onward among immense boulders to fall again and again in lesser but still beautiful cascades."
from "The Craven and North-West Yorkshire Highlands" by Harry Speight (1892)

The description above, apart from the presence of summer flowers, is still a good description of Catrigg Force which we visited recently. When I was growing up in the area people called the waterfall both Catterick Force (or Foss) and Catrigg Force. Harry Speight uses the former. So does "Otley's Guide: Concise Description of the English Lakes" (1823), a Midland Railways poster of 1909 advertising Settle, and a postcard of the waterfall dated 1912. However, a map of 1896 prefers Catrigg Force, and so do subsequent Ordnance Survey maps. Interestingly the present day wooden finger post near the waterfall is marked Catrigg Foss. It's common to find "Force and Foss" used interchangeably for Dales waterfalls for reasons that I discussed in this post about Stainforth Force. However, it isn't common for the main name to differ in quite the way that happens in this instance. There is a suggestion that Catterick comes from "cataract", and yet Catrigg is the name of a nearby area of moorland from which Catrigg Barn and Catrigg Beck (the stream) take their names. The word "rigg" comes from the Scandinavian and means " a ridge or cultivated strip of ground",and that seems appropriate. It's a puzzle that I must look into a little more!

I'm not a great fan of massively blurred water of the sort that enthusiast photographers seem keen to use in their photographs of waterfalls. However, I did take a couple with some blur, of which this is one. I used a fairly slow shutter speed and put the camera on my monopod and wedged it in a crevice to the maintain sharpness of the trees and rocks.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 11.3mm (30mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f11
Shutter Speed: 1/3 sec
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On