In the same way as the term "Cumbrian Hills" is exchanged for the popular "Lake District" so is a large section of the Pennine Range paradoxically known as the "Yorkshire Dales." It is because the hills are so big that the valleys are deep, and it is owing to the great watersheds that these long and narrow dales are beautified by some of the most copious and picturesque rivers in England. In spite of this, however, when one climbs any of the fells over 2,000 feet, and looks over the mountainous ridges on every side, one sees, as a rule, no peak or isolated height of any description to attract one's attention. Instead of the rounded or angular projections from the horizon that are usually associated with a mountainous district, there are great expanses of brown table-land that form themselves into long parallel lines in the distance, and give a sense of wild desolation in some ways more striking than the peaks of Scotland or Wales.... The roofs of churches, cottages, barns and mansions, are always of the local stone, that weathers to beautiful shades of green and gray, and prevents the works of man from jarring with the great sweeping hillsides. Then, instead of the familiar gray-brown haystack, one sees in almost every meadow a neatly-built stone house with an upper story.... The villages of the dales, although having none of the bright colours of a level country, are often exceedingly quaint, and rich in soft shades of green and gray. In the autumn the mellowed tints of the stone houses are contrasted with the fierce yellows and browny-reds of the foliage, and the villages become full of bright colours. At all times, except when the country is shrivelled by an icy northern wind, the scenery of the dales has a thousand charms. (Home 4-8)

The Yorkshire Dales in Victorian Times


Engineering Works, Railways, and the Industrial Revolution


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Last modified 6 September 2011