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Visit the Dales


Elbolton Hill

One of a series of odd, conical hills lying along the side of the valley running from Grassington toward Skipton. The bright green grass growing on them contrasts strongly with the brown moorland behind and may be what has led to some magical stories about the fairies of Elbolton who led unwary travellers astray on foggy nights with 'corpsie lights'.

The green grass is in fact due to the rich limestone rock underneath. These hills are the remains of ancient reef knolls and were once colonies of coral and algae lying in shallow tropical seas over 300 million years ago. Their fossilized remains have become the limestone that makes the soil so rich. It is also the reason for Swinden Quarry being established on a similar reef knoll nearby.

Elbolton has a cave system which was excavated around 100 years ago. Archaeologists found prehistoric skeletons and pottery which are now in the collections at Craven Museum in Skipton. Read more about the excavation of Elbolton Cave on our Out of Oblivion website.

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