Geology of the Yorkshire Dales

Last modified date

Pen-y-Ghent (image from Wikimedia Commons)

The slides for my 2022 University of York Centre for Lifelong Learning half-day class on the ‘Geology of the Yorkshire Dales’ can be downloaded here: 2022_GYD_slides (pdf) and 2022_GYD_slides (pptx).

(Slides from my 2016 CLL one-day class can be found below):

Part 1 (Intro/Early Palaeozoic): 2016GYD_1Intro_SML

Part 2 (Early Carboniferous): 2016GYD_2LowerCarb_SML

Part 3 (Late Carboniferous): 2016GYD_3UpperCarb_SML

Part 4 (Quaternary): 2016GYD_4Glacial_SML

Useful links

If you need to see the full geological timescale, you can find it here.

Dales Rocks – the geology of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This site has many sections. The interactive map of geological sites is very good for the western part of the national park (Settle-Ribblesdale-Ingleton).

The Out of Oblivion project also has some information on the Geology of the Yorkshire Dales.

The best book I know on the geology of the Yorkshire Dales is Yorkshire Dales: Landscape & Geology by Tony Waltham.

Reef knolls of the Cracoe Limestone Formation, Elbolton Hill.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) have various useful resources on their Earthwise site, including:

If you’re out and about in the Dales, you might also find the BGS iGeology app and the Natural History Museum’s Fossil Explorer app quite handy.

For information on the Yorkshire Dales coalfields, the Northern Mine Research Society have plenty of information. MyLearning also offer lots of detail on Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales.

Ross Barnett’s book The Missing Lynx is an excellent read, and features some of the animals that once lived in the Dales, including bears and lynx in Kinsey Cave.

With Hidden Horizons, I also run online fossils and geology classes, Hidden Geology walks, and fossil-hunting trips, so please keep an eye on our website. And if there’s a trip you’d like us to run, please drop us a line!


Earth scientist in North Yorkshire, fossilist on the Cote de Saur. Director of the Yorkshire Fossil Festival and palaeontologist for hire. Can be found twittering and facebooking as @fossiliam.