MARHOFN 49.02 - APRIL 2000

RHB Update

There has been just one definite change to the Marilyns during the past year: the summit of Maesglase in mid-Wales moved about 500 metres to the west. Observations and suggestions about several other summits are summarised and attributed below.

Maesglase (30F)

Rob Woodall writes: John and Anne Nuttall give a height of 676m for the W top at SH817150. Carefully sightlining from E top past W top to Craig Cwm Amarch on Cadair Idris confirmed that the W top is 1m higher (actually 1.1m but that includes 100mm of heather!). The view from W past E top does indeed incline downwards. The OS 1:25000 map has 674m for W top, so I wonder what the authoritative heights are. Sadly it seems that RHB should shift the summit to the W top - although the E top is nicer. W top is about 30 metres north of the fence; short heather, small scruffy cairn which now boasts a sheep's skull.

Jeff Parr: There are now seven new Welsh Tops in the Nuttalls' list, none of which qualify as a Hewitt. However, the Maesglase summit has moved to the top Craig Rhiw-erch at 817150, which has been surveyed to be two metres higher than the previous recorded top. Further information at

Candidates for Change

Beinn Dearg (1B)

David Purchase: I hope that all who have claimed this Marilyn have visited its twin top at NN685190, nearly 1.5km from the listed summit. The intervening drop is about 73m.

Alan Dawson: The 1:10000 map gives 705m for the W top, i.e. 1m lower than the listed Marilyn, but it's well worth climbing both.

Creag Tharsuinn (19C)

Rob Woodall: True summit could be 150 metres NE at NS088914, but heights very similar. A candidate (albeit trivial) for twin peaks list.

Sgorach Mor (19C)

Rob Woodall: The summit is understandably credited to a fine rocky boss to NW, but the SE top 1km away (above Creag a'Chanuill at NS106844) has an equal amount of ground above 600m and to my eye is slightly more domed and therefore potentially higher (probably less than 1m in it).

Lendrick Hill (26)

Rob Woodall: Lendrick Hill has a grassed over 1m tumulus about 3m higher than and 50 metres N of the trig.

Bryn Amlwg (31A)

David Purchase: The summit is 1m higher than the trig point, as there are remains of an old tumulus (or small hill fort) close by.

Hirfynydd (32B)

Richard Webb: There is a large 480m contour ring E of the trig. This has recently been clear felled and looks higher from both directions. The odds of a point in a large ring being higher than 1m above the contour value are favourable. So do both to make sure, but hurry - it has been replanted. At the moment the views are rather good.

Birks Fell (35B)

Chris Watson: When standing on the highest peat hag in the vicinity of the 608m spot height on Birks Fell, it is clear that you are not on the summit. The highest point on Birks Fell is clearly on the other side of the wall where it always used to be!

Chris Crocker: I agree entirely with Chris Watson's comments.

Brown Clee Hill (38A)

Richard Webb: I am sure, and have photogrammetric evidence, that the Abdon Burf Top is not the trig but the knoll to the north of the mast enclosure. The evidence is from the independent orienteering survey, where contours are designed to show shape not height, but extra contours are not added lightly. The north top looks higher and is surveyed higher. In mitigation, I think the north top could be artificial, but as this is the most quarried top I can think of it's all artificial. An enjoyable hill and a pleasure to spend an afternoon up there again.

Paul Richardson: I was last there in 1981. My log visit says the trig is 1772ft, whereas 'the forest of aerials and towers' NE is 1790ft.

Ruardean Hill (38B)

Richard Webb: The summit is almost certainly outwith the enclosure and there is a lot of land higher than the trig. The road cleaves the summit and the north/maypole side is the highest. Should you wish to get to the highest point, i.e. the reservoir (a grassed over metal tank) the fence is an absolute doddle to cross. No wire, and an old bedstead for a foothold. It is not a problem. There is a fine view from the beacon 100 metres N of the summit.

Hensbarrow Beacon (40)

Rob Woodall: The summit of the spoil heap has a cairn, approx 300 metres E of (and of course much higher than) the trig - so I guess it's official!

David Rawden: In Cornwall I had to abandon bagging Carnmenellis because there didn't seem to be access. On the other hand, Hensbarrow Beacon was very easy but I was amused to find there was towering over it some of the china clay 'mountains of the moon'. I know they are artificial but some look to be well covered in vegetation and better candidates for Marilyn status.

Haddington Hill (39)

Chris Crocker: I climbed this hill (in pouring rain) and concluded that the highest point is not at SP890089. After tramping around the undergrowth at the grid ref I became suspicious that I might not be on the highest point of the plateau. Some ground to the north looked at least as high if not higher. Eventually, taking a path going east from the car park, I found a large black stone (at least four feet high), placed by the Forestry Commission, with an inscription stating this to be the highest point of the Chilterns. The height was given as 267m. I estimate its grid ref as SP891090 (possibly 891091 - I did not make precise measurements, but the monolith is close to the edge of the wood, somewhat more than 100 metres NW of the right of way which heads NE to the road). The marker stone looked fairly new and I doubt if it would be visible from anywhere off the path.

David Purchase: The only interesting thing about this rather tame Marilyn is that there is a fine stone marker with a plaque proclaiming it to be the highest point in the Chiltern Hills - which is not at the highest point of the the hill! Ground to the SW is clearly rather higher (by between 0.5 and 1m) though it would be difficult to identify the precise summit.

Bryn Arw (32A)

Dave Hewitt: There are three bumps, connected by a pleasant path, and RHB gave the southern bump as the highest. The Welsh TACit Table switched this to the northern one, but the debate is definitely between the middle and the southern. If the latest map gives the northern bump as the highest then it's just plain wrong.

Potential Renominations

Suggestions for further name changes:

Wauk Hill (27C)

Ronald Turnbull: Better known locally as Keir Hill.

Lowick High Common (34D)

Dave Hewitt: Kirkby Moor, surely?

Haddington Hill (39)

David Rawden: Local people don't seem to have heard of it, and the name Wendover Woods is generally better known.

SubMarilyn Status Quota

There were no changes to the 206 SubMarilyns (140-149m drop) during 1999, but there have been careful observations of some of the hills jostling for promotion.

Meall Cala (1C)

Ken Whyte: I found the bealach between Meall Cala and Ceann na Baintighearna to be a mass of 2m-3m deep peat hags, so depending on how the OS measure these - top of hags or bottom or middle - I would think there is a strong possibility of Meall Cala (149m drop) just scraping in to Marilyn and Graham status.

Cruach Bhuidhe (19C)

Rob Woodall: Trig point is precisely at the (excellent) summit but height of col as 419m is unclear (col a boggy peaty trough in trees). Your height (unless you have survey data) is a safe guess but a col height 1m lower, securing Marilyn status, would not be surprising.

Baystones (34C)

Ann Bowker: Baystones (better known around here as the true top of Wansfell) has been demoted from the Marilyn list with 149m drop. I ignored the quite unreasonable 'no access' notices to visit the north top, which has a spot height of 487m on the latest 1:25000 map, but was convinced that the 'official' cairned top S of the fence at NY403051 is higher. Is this a candidate for a reprieve?

Further evidence, opinion or observation about changes to the height, grid reference or name of these (and other) summits would be welcome. If there is a clear consensus of opinion the changes are likely to be ratified.