Today was a fabulous day. It was one of those days that was completely unplanned with the decision to go somewhere made at the last moment. This morning, on impulse, we caught the train to Knaresborough, a market town less than half an hour away. Knaresborough is a gorgeous and fascinating place and I thoroughly recommend it if ever you’re in North Yorkshire.
I know the photos are more interesting than anything I have to say about the place, but there are just a couple of remarkable pieces of information I feel I need to say. If you can’t be bothered reading the next two paragraphs then skip to the photos.
Knaresborough is built around a gorge which was carved out by glaciers at the end of the last ice age. In 1847, work began to construct a viaduct over the gorge but just before its completion in 1848, the whole thing collapsed into the river below. Fortunately no-one was killed but the lime from the cement killed all of the fish and the bridge itself completely dammed the river causing it to flood. A second bridge was started almost right away and has survived to the present day. It is now a grade II listed monument and it’s really gorgeous. The amazing thing though, especially for me, is that the construction of the viaduct was fiercely opposed at the time with one architect describing it as “one of the worst railway crimes in all England”. Personally, I think it’s beautiful and I love that we can just jump on a train and travel almost anywhere and for very little cost. For comparison, the train was cheaper for the four of us than catching the 10-minute ferry from Devonport to Auckland return.
The other fascinating thing at Knaresborough is the petrifying well. I have photos of this below. It’s a small waterfall with a string of teddy bears strung up under the water which petrify (turn to stone) in just three months. This is because the water for the well comes from a natural underground lake and as the water travels to the surface, it collects minerals along the way, including calcium carbonate which coats the teddies with a solid crust. There’s a photo below of this well with the teddy bears and the place looks just as creepy and haunting as it does in the photo.