A reminder of our Norse past in the Dales


Scaleber Foss is a lovely location a mile or so above Settle in Ribblesdale on the road to Kirkby Malham. I got caught in a brief hailstorm while there this morning but managed a couple of photos before the soaking. Now, as I look out of my window while typing this blog, fluffy clouds are moving quickly across a pretty blue sky above Scaleber – such is life in the dales. Scaleber Wood is a Woodland Trust property and provides some good walking as well as the series of waterfalls. Foss is an old Norse word for fall and it is said that many Yorkshire words developed from the settling of Scandinavians in the county. I recently discovered that my Y-chromosone male line stems from the oldest tribe to have inhabited Europe (uninspiringly called Haplotype I, mutation M253). They lived in Scandinavia from before the Ice Age, then after the glaciers retreated 15,000 years ago began to spread to the British Isles and elsewhere. So perhaps it was one of my ancestors who brought with him endearing terms such as ‘sithee, eyup and what’s tha laikin at?’.

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