A wa­ter­fall vis­ited by Wordsworth and Turner

Yorkshire Post - - PICTUREPOS­T - Pic­ture: Marisa Cashill Words: Laura Reid

IT HOLDS quite an im­pres­sive ti­tle as Eng­land’s largest sin­gle drop wa­ter­fall.

Drop­ping a re­puted 100ft, Hardraw Force flows over the edge of a rugged lime­stone for­ma­tion in the heart of the York­shire Dales Na­tional Park.

Set be­hind the Green Dragon Inn near Hawes, the beauty spot fea­tured in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

The wa­ter­fall, be­lieved to have been formed more than 15,000 years ago, to­wards the end of the last Ice Age, was used to film the scene where Maid Mar­ian catches Robin Hood bathing naked. That is not the only time the fall has been used cre­atively.

Joseph Mal­lord Wil­liam Turner, one of Bri­tain’s great­est Ro­man­tic artists, painted dra­matic scenes of moun­tains and water­falls across the Dales in­clud­ing Hardraw Force.

Vis­it­ing in 1816, Turner made two sketches of the site and de­vel­oped one into a fin­ished wa­ter­colour, Hardraw Fall, avail­able to pur­chase in print and can­vas form from The Fitzwillia­m Mu­seum in Cam­bridge.

The force also cap­tured the heart of Wil­liam Wordsworth, who vis­ited with his sis­ter Dorothy.

Writ­ing in 1799, he said: “We walked up to the fall; and what would I not give if I could con­vey to you the feel­ings and images which were com­mu­ni­cated to me?

“Af­ter cau­tiously sound­ing our way over stones of all colours and sizes, en­cased in the clear­est wa­ter formed by the spray of the fall we found the rock, which had be­fore ap­peared like a wall, ex­tend­ing it­self over our heads like the ceil­ing of a huge cave, from the sum­mit of which the wa­ter shot di­rectly over our heads into a basin, and among the frag­ments wrin­kled over with masses of ice as white as snow, or rather, as Dorothy said, like con­gealed froth.

“The wa­ter fell at least ten yards from us,” the poet con­tin­ued, “and we stood di­rectly be­hind it.”

To­day, the tum­bling fall re­mains a much-loved spot with walk­ers in God’s Own Coun­try, with a her­itage cen­tre with tea room and toi­lets open dur­ing its most pop­u­lar sea­son.

Tech­ni­cal de­tails: Fujifilm X-T3 cam­era with a 16mm lens, 11 sec­onds at f/22, ISO 200.

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