In the 9th century, the Yorkshire Dales, apart from isolated villages surrounded by small areas of pasture and cultivated land, would largely be untamed wilderness, the habitation of wild animals like wolves and wild boar, and no doubt, frequented in places by outlaws, thieves and robbers. Malham surrounded by its little square Celtic fields and lower down, medieval lynchets (strip cultivation) is a good example of the layout of an early medieval Dales village. Although extensive forests, woodlands and river swamps are long gone, what has not changed are the dramatic switches of scenery, tree and plant life created by jagged and fissured carboniferous limestone thrown up as cliffs, scars marred by gaping slits, crinkled, knotted crowns of rock, splintered blocks and platforms formed by the earth movements of the branches of the Craven fault. Carboniferous limestone or “karst scenery”, presented then as now a near treeless landscape, dotted with caves and waterfalls, a starkly beautiful moonscape even. Trees gripped in the vice of limestones grikes or fissures, would still struggle for life as they do now.