Thursday, 19 March 2020
On Tour: Visiting Cheddar Gorge
Today my post is from outside of Cornwall. The photos are all of Somerset's wonderful Cheddar Gorge, which is just outside of the village of the same name.
After driving through the Gorge - the exposed rocks are carboniferous limestone - we found somewhere to park the car.
We headed to a trail which would take us to the top part of the gorge. The photo is looking back down after being about halfway up - if that makes sense!
We reached the top but, looking at the next photo it seemed all the other walkers were on the other side of the gorge. Good to be different though.
Lovely views and no one else about ...
… other than a few goats meandering about. I understand they are encouraged as this helps to keep the scrub under control.
Cheddar is the largest gorge in the UK. It rises to 449 feet high. I guess it's okay to use 'proper' measurements now we have Brexit! Okay, that's 137m.
While walking we came across a training session for mountain rescue …
… their vehicles were parked in a field.
A bit of technical stuff: The gorge was formed by meltwater floods during the cold periglacial periods which have occurred over the last 1.2 million years.
During the ice ages permafrost blocked the caves with ice and frozen mud and made the limestone impermeable.
When this melted during the summers, water was forced to flow on the surface, and carved out the gorge.
There's one fascinating fact about one of the caves in the gorge. This is where Britain's oldest complete skeleton - known as Cheddar Man - was found in 1903.
It is estimated that the skeleton was over 9,000 years old. Wouldn't it be something to travel back in time to see how Cheddar Man lived?
There have been settlements here since Neolithic times. Quite mind boggling - it's a funny old world!
I guess you can't mention Cheddar without mentioning Cheddar cheese, which was first made in Cheddar way back in the 12th century. It's my favourite cheese - proper Cheddar that is, not some of the so called copies. Cheddar cheese traditionally had to be made within 30 miles of Wells Cathedral, but times change.
Here's another 'On Tour' post:
On Tour: Visiting Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury Tor and King Arthur
Something a little different today. The photo above is of Pentewan, Cornwall showing part of the harbour, circa 1900. So, over one hundre...