Nidd Gorge Project

When you stand in Nidd Gorge, imagine being in the midst of an equatorial forest or on the edge of a vast sea. This project looks at how the gorge was formed and what prehistoric artefacts tell us about the animals, plants and early humans that were here in Knaresborough thousands of years ago. 

Our stunning Nidd Gorge attracts tourists from far and wide but little is known about how it was formed, and when and why early man came to settle in Knaresborough. Our research on the “Story of the Gorge”, aided by geologists from Leeds and Yorkshire Geological Societies, builds a picture of how the land on which Knaresborough sits was formed from 350 million years ago to the Ice Age. We’ve discovered that stone quarried locally and used to construct the viaduct contains small particles of rock carried by glaciers all the way from Scotland.

Amazing artefacts that have been donated include prehistoric fossils, animal and plant remains and provide evidence of early human occupation.