The cause of the ground collapse in the cathedral town was believed to be a gypsum fault, the Yorkshire Post reported. Gypsum, like limestone, dissolves, causing holes and caverns underground that are vulnerable to collapse.
North Yorkshire police said no injuries were reported. The property where the hole developed was empty at the time, and police were able to retrieve a dog from the house.
Several sinkholes have been reported this month in southern England, including one that forced the closing of a section of the M2 motorway in Kent. A teenager's car disappeared into a hole 30 feet deep in his family's driveway in Buckinghamshire, and last Saturday a 35-foot by 20-foot hole was reported in the London suburb of Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire.