Skinningrove to Saltburn

Anyone who is unfamiliar with the history of Skinningrove may be confused by the cliffs that tower over Cattersty beach. The horizontally bedded Jurassic cliffs of the coast have been replaced by what appears to be the remnants of ancient lava flows.

The origin of the cliffs are not Volcanic, I guess they could be called Vulcanic. There was once a large iron works on the clifftop, slag from the blast furnaces would be tipped, by trains, over the cliff edge completely covering the existing strata.  The blast furnaces have long gone, the cliffs are home to nesting fulmars and the occasional peregrine falcon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vulcan – God of Fire, Volcanoes and Metalworkers

Skinningrove, a little creek formed by the Liverton Beck, has gained a weird picturesqueness by its ironworks on the verge of the cliff and its mountains of spoil from an iron mine. The Cleveland ironstone is used in conjunction with imported ironstone and if access can be obtained to the dressing-sheds – where the Cleveland ore is picked over by boys for the elimination of unprofitable stone – characteristic fossils, particularly the ammonite Amaltheus spinatus, can be obtained.

Geology of Yorkshire. PF Kendall & HE Wroot. 1924

Warsett trainThe train from Boulby potash mine skirts the edge of Warsett Hill passing the fan house that used to ventilate the ironstone mine.  Mining has existed in North Yorkshire for almost a thousand years, steel tracks for railways are still made at Skinningrove.

FlowersTragically, two young local men were recently found dead at the foot of the cliffs at Saltburn.

Adventures in the Anthropocene

One ton of iron produces one ton of slag

Towards the end of the 19th Century the furnaces of Cleveland were producing 2.5 million tons of pig iron a year.slag-s

scoriaˈskɔːrɪə
noun
noun: scoria; plural noun: scoriae
  1. basaltic lava ejected as fragments from a volcano, typically with a frothy texture.
    “chunks of black scoria”
  2. slag separated from molten metal during smelting.
    Origin -Late Middle English (denoting slag from molten metal): via Latin from Greek skōria ‘refuse’, from skōr‘dung’. The geological term dates from the late 18th century.