Around Clitheroe

© Craven & Pendle Geological Society

River Ribble near Sawley Photo: P. Kabrna 1998

Role of Honour: Left to Right: April Marsden, Brian Scholes, Carol Scholes, Vincent Nuttall, Eveline Jackson, Paul Kabrna and Andy Booth. Photo taken approx. 1993

Craven Basin

View over the Craven Basin towards the Askrigg Block Photo: P. Kabrna 2004

The Ribble Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty. It has plenty to the offer the geologist, botanist, and ornithologist not to mention the many casual ramblers.

Clitheroe, the local market town, is also home to a Norman Keep (1154) which not surprisingly sits on top of one of the local Waulsortian limestone mudmounds (reef knolls). Below the Keep you can visit Clitheroe Castle Museum that hosts a wealth of local geological specimens.

Further afield the Craven Basin is characterised by a rolling landscape, moulded by glacial ice, and is highlighted by a spectacular drumlin field - ancient relicts of the last major glaciation during the Devensian stage. Geologists' who visit the Craven area are greeted by an enormous thickness of argillaceous sediments that accumulated in a structure now commonly described as an asymetric graben.

The deepest part of the basin lies in the deposits that accumulated on the flanks of Pendle Hill. The Askrigg Block which you can see in the distance forms the high ground to the north. Two of the Three Peaks are just visible - to the left of the picture lies Ingleborough (723 metres) whilst to the right lies Pen-Y-Ghent. Looking into the distance on a sunny day you can see right into Malham Cove!

Castle Cement

Ribblesdale Cement Limited originated in 1936 as a joint venture between Tunnel Cement and Ketton Portland Cement which was owned by T W Ward.  During the first year of its existence a 107 employees produced 120,000 tonnes of limestone thus making 80,000 tonnes of cement.

Today the works has three operating kilns and a work force of about 420. There are known quarry reserves of 30 years, and more than two million tonnes of limestone are quarried every year for an annual production of 1.4 million tonnes of cement.

Castle Cement

In 1982, Ribblesdale Cement's two parent companies merged under the ownership of RTZ and, in 1986, was renamed Castle Cement.

In 1998 Ribblesdale works became the first cement works in the UK to install a gas cleaning system (also known as a wet scrubber) attached to the dry process kiln.

When Ribblesdale first opened, coal was the only fuel used in the cement making process. Coal remains the principal fuel today but a secondary liquid fuel, known as Cemfuel, is also used.

Cement from Ribblesdale has been used in several major architectural projects, such as: Manchester International Airport; Heysham Nuclear Power Station; Manchester Magistrates Court; Manchester United football stadium; and Liverpool's Roman Catholic cathedral. The works has also supplied construction projects such as Frodsham Railway Bridge over the M56, the Northern Keswick by-pass on the A66 and the Sharston by-pass.

Type Section for Ice Cream

That's me propping the door up!

Chatburn Village Centre from Hudson's Ice Cream Shop

Field meetings into the Clitheroe area should take advantage of Hudson's in Chatburn. This offers excellent award-winning ice cream in what was originally the toll bar. It has remained very popular with locals over many years.

Take your ice cream along the A59 to Sawley, where you can view the ancient Sawley Abbey and enjoy the view of the River Ribble.

Or perhaps take a short drive into the village of Downham which is dominated by the ancient church of St. Leonard with its 15th Century tower. The village was also used as a location for the film "Whistle Down The Wind". The banks of the Ribble and the Downham village are good feeding grounds for those opportunistic mallards - everyone's favourite duck!