The geological makeup of the North York Moors primarily comprises strata of sedimentary rock, deposited beneath the waters during the Jurassic Age. As the Jurassic sea level rose and fell, rocks of various densities were left. Over time, wind and rain tirelessly eroded away at these rocks, reshaping the landscape. Here at the Bridestones, the softer shales have succumbed to the erosion, leaving behind the harder sandstones in these curiously formed outcrops.
Local tales surrounding the Bridestones weave a narrative of petrified bridal parties lost in the mists that often descend over the moor. However, the likely source of the name lacks the allure of romance. It’s thought to stem from an Old Norse term denoting ‘brink’—probably highlighting the rocks’ position above the steep Dovedale Griff.