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Clapham ( ) is a village in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, Englandmarker. It was previously in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It lies within the Yorkshire Dales National Parkmarker 6 miles north west of Settlemarker just off the A65.

History

The Dales as seen on the trail out of Clapham
The church of St. James in Clapham was founded in Norman times, and was originally dedicated to St. Michael. It is mentioned in records dating back to 1160. Unfortunately, it and the rest of the village were burned during a Scottish raid following the Battle of Bannockburnmarker in the early 14th-century. The church tower was probably erected following this incident, but the rest of the church only dates from the 19th-century.

In the 14th century John de Clapham, who took his surname from the village, was a supporter of the earl of Warwick and lived at Clapdale Castle. His ancestors also took part in the Wars of the Roses, albeit on the side of the House of Lancaster.

Since the 18th century Clapham has been home to the Farrer family who established their Ingleborough estate. The family owns and is responsible for much of the land, walls, woods, fields and moors of the village, surrounding countryside and farms.

Electricity has been generated on the Ingleborough estate since 1893. There is still an operating water turbine-powered generator at the top of the village next to the waterfall. It was installed in 1948. Originally it supplied the church, Ingleborough Hall, Home Farm and 13 street lights. There is another turbine in the sawmill which is also still in use although it is now helped by an electric motor when the larger saw is in use.

In August 1947 the Trow Ghyll skeleton was discovered in a cave above the village.

Geography

Clapham is situated at the base of Ingleboroughmarker mountain (one of Yorkshire's famous "Three Peaks" - Ingleborough, Whernsidemarker and Pen-y-ghentmarker) and is a well known starting point for its ascent.

Running through the village is Clapham Beck. This is fed from Fell Beck which starts on the slopes of Ingleborough and sinks into Gaping Gillmarker, England's highest waterfall, where Fell Beck drops 110 metres vertically down a pothole, and exits via Ingleborough Cavemarker into Clapham Beck. The beck then feeds into the River Lune via the River Wenningmarker. The beck is crossed by four bridges in the village (two footbridges: Brokken Bridge and Mafeking Bridge, and two road bridges).

Above the village is a man-made lake built and expanded in the 19th century. This provided pressure for the water turbines and the drinking water supply, while the outflow fed an artificial waterfall at the top of the village.

Clapham lies on the Craven fault zone. This is a complex geological fault which marks the division of the sandstone rocks of the Bowland area and the limestone of the Ingleborough area. However, the valley of Clapham Beck has cut through the limestone and into the underlying Ordovician basement. The basement rocks produces soils that are acid, and not alkaline like those on the limestone. This is beneficial to the many species of rhododendron that have been planted along Clapdale and which would suffer in alkaline soils.

Famous residents

The notable botanist Reginald Farrer (1880-1920) was born and lived in Clapham. He collected many new species of rhododendrons, shrubs and alpines in Chinamarker, Tibet and Upper Burmamarker between 1914 and 1920. Many of these were planted on the Estate by Farrer. In some places he fired seeds at cliff faces from a shotgun, to give a ‘natural’ spread to his rock plants.
Rhododendrons planted by Reginald Farrer are still growing in the woods above the village.


Local businesses and amenities

The village contains Clapham CE Primary School, a village hall, one pub (the New Inn), a local shop and post office, a small number of businesses, guest houses, and an outdoor education centre.

Up until 2000 the Dalesman magazine was based in the village.

Being within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the car park is run by the national park with fees going directly to them.

Ingleborough Cavemarker is a fine show cave open to the public, accessed through the grounds of the Ingleborough Estate. Beyond the show cave the path continues through the impressive gorge of Trow Gill and hence to Gaping Gill. Local caving clubs set up a winch down Gaping Gillmarker during the Spring and August bank holidays, which is open to the general public.

Based in the village is the Cave Rescue Organisation which serves people and animals above and below ground across a wide area of the Dales.

The village is served by Clapham railway stationmarker which is situated one mile away.

Notes



References

  • Clapham. Doorway to the Dales promotional leaflet, Clapham development Association


External links




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