Update to The Relative Hills of Britain

Alan Dawson, April 2006

This update sheet summarises the most important changes to The Relative Hills of Britain (RHB) since the book was published in April 1992, and also highlights changes since the previous update sheet in April 2002.

Acknowledgments

I should like to thank everyone who has been in contact with helpful comments, and in particular those who have helped uncover new Marilyns or new summits for existing Marilyns, notably Clem Clements, Jonathan de Ferranti, Charles Everett, Dave Hewitt, John Owen, Tony Payne, David R Smith and Rob Woodall. All other comments have been much appreciated, and suggestions have been investigated wherever possible.

Changes since April 2002

Two new Marilyns were discovered and added in 2004-05: Meall Chomraidh and Arnside Knott. The number of Marilyns has therefore risen to 1554 - 1214 in Scotland, 179 in England, 156 in Wales and 5 on the Isle of Man (Black Mountain is on the border but counted in Wales).

Additions

The 19 new Marilyns discovered since 1992 are listed below. Arnside Knott is now the smallest English Marilyn and Cheriton Hill the easternmost Marilyn. The drop column refers to the difference in metres between the summit and the col connecting the hill to the next Marilyn (c means the drop is estimated).

Section Metres Name Map Grid Ref Drop
2A 466 Meall Chomraidh 42,51 NN483556 c 150
4A 232 Cruim Leacainn 34,41 NN166807 150
20B 318 Giur-bheinn (Islay) 60,61 NR379728 c 150
21A 491 The Bochel 36 NJ232232 c 154
24A 261 Beinn Bhragair (Lewis) 8 NB266433 c 150
28A 423 Sell Moor Hill 73 NT480444 c 150
30C 389 Mynydd Rhyd ddu 116 SJ054477 165
30F 321 Craig y Castell 124 SH698162 153
31A 507 Disgwylfa Fawr 135 SN737847 c 152
31B 460 Cefn Cenarth 136,147 SN969762 155
31C 466 Carn Gafallt 147 SN940646 157
32C 258 Mynydd Dinas 170 SS761915 c 152
34B 244 Swinside 89,90 NY243224 152
34D 159 Arnside Knott 97 SD456774 150
35A 675 Lovely Seat 98 SD879950 c 150
38B 276 Aconbury Hill 149 SO505330 157
41 208 Swyre Head 195 SY934784 150
41 199 Nine Barrow Down 195 SZ008811 c 152
42 188 Cheriton Hill 179,189 TR197396 150

Deletions

The following seven hills listed as Marilyns in RHB are now known to have less than 150m drop all round.

16F 589 Sgorr Tuath 15 NC110074 c 148
19C 568 Cruach Bhuidhe 56 NS125947 149
22 176 Cunnigill Hill 2,3 HU432675 127
33 714 Hedgehope Hill 80 NT943198 148
33 615 Cushat Law 80 NT928137 147
34B 964 Scafell 89,90 NY206064 133
34C 778 Harter Fell 90 NY459093 149

Baystones was deleted in 1995 but reinstated in 2002 with a new summit location. Two hills not listed in RHB were accorded Marilyn status in 1996 but deleted in 1998:

38B 285 Abberley Hill 138,150 SO751672 c 147
39 295 Milk Hill 173 SU104643 c 148

The promotion of Abberley Hill resulted from inspection of a disused railway cutting, which was filled in at the critical col shortly after its promotion. In contrast Milk Hill was wrongly promoted in the first place, owing to the misleading representation of contours on the OS 1:10000 map.

Hill Changes

Five hills listed in RHB have been superseded by a nearby summit:

19C 519 Coraddie replaces 63 NS050778 371
19C 507 Beinn Bhreac 63 NS053763 46
28A 567 East Cairn Hill replaces 65,72 NT128593 169
28A 562 West Cairn Hill 65,72 NT107584 c 130
35B 609 Horse Head Moor replaces 98 SD893768 157
35B 608 Birks Fell 98 SD918763 29
38B 254 Hegdon Hill replaces 149 SO585539 c 156
38B 252 Grendon Green 149 SO599574 c 39
41 279 Lewesdon Hill replaces 193 ST437012 185
41 277 Pilsdon Pen 193 ST413011 c 83

Some walkers maintain that the highest point of Birks Fell is still the summit listed in RHB as 610m, but the Ordnance Survey have confirmed 608m as the highest recorded point on the metric contour document.

Summit Changes

There have to date been 16 other confirmed summit relocations, where the highest point has been changed to a nearby grid reference on the same hill. New heights and grid references are shown below.

1D 744 Meall nan Gabhar 50 NN235240 265
5B 827 An Dun 42 NN717805 c 232
9B 492 Meall an Tarsaid 34 NN491130 c 155
10B 898 Sgurr nan Eugallt 33 NG927048 c 624
15A 464 Breac-Bheinn 20 NH498950 159
15B 205 Hill of Nigg 21 NH820705 c 193
17C 281 Sgurr nan Caorach 32 NH593030 c 216
19A 360 Dun Leacainn 55 NN033016 272
20A 304 Cruach na Seilcheig 55,61 NR678984 c 179
27C 569 Hods Hill 78 NT000099 173
30F c 676 Maesglase 124,125 SH817150 c 313
32A 384 Bryn Arw 161 SO301206 c 156
34C c 488 Baystones 90 NY403051 c 150
34D 339 Lambrigg Fell 97 SD586941 c 152
38A c 335 Callow Hill 137,138 SO460850 c 154
42 242 Crowborough 188 TQ510305 c 159

The heights for Sgurr nan Eugallt and Baystones have been confirmed by the Ordnance Survey from unpublished data, whereas that for Maesglase is derived from independent amateur surveying. All other heights are taken from published OS maps, although opinions differ in some cases.

Twin Peaks

The following pairs of hills are of equal height but the drop between the two is less than 150m.

Section Metres Name Map Grid Refs Drop
2B 1118 Meall Garbh / An Stuc 51 NN644436 / NN639431 127
8B 862 Carn Liath / Creag an Dhail Bheag 36,43 NO165977 / NO157981 34
10A 885 Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais / Buidhe Bheinn 33 NG958110 / NG963090 c 122
12A 673 Carn na Coinnich / Meall nan Damh 26 NH324510 / NH353522 c 93
15B 692 Beinn Tharsuinn / Sidhean a'Choin Bhain 21 NH606792 / NH600803 34
16C 404 Creag Thoraraidh / Cnoc Coir a'Phuill 17 ND040187 / ND046202 c 60
17E 704 Corra Bheinn / Cruachan Dearg 48 NM573321 / NM568331 c 130
31C 205 Brandy Hill / Middleton Hill 158 SN213133 / SN146118 c 40

Several other summits have two or more nearby points of apparently equal height. Examples include:

17B 494 Sgurr na Stri 32 NG499193 / NG500193 c 225
19B 466 Cruach Lusach 55 NR786832 / NR788830 279
31B 477 Gwastedyn Hill 136,147 SN982663 / SN986661 c 242
31B 451 Aberedw Hill 147 SO084507 / SO087504 227
31B 442 Rhiw Gwraidd 147 SO009633 / SO014633 c 214
35A 708 Wild Boar Fell 98 SD758988 / SD761984 c 344
36 562 Ward's Stone 102 SD592587 / SD586585 c 396
38B 269 Seager Hill 149 SO612390 / SO624379 c 164
39 267 Wendover Woods 165 SP890089 / SP890091 180

Na Maoilean (3B) has four tiny 350m contour rings, the largest of which is at NM976374. The situation is unclear for some other Marilyns where summit duplication or relocation is possible. Some notable cases, where the alternative summit has a different name and grid reference, are listed below:

Section Metres Current Marilyn Grid Ref Map Alternative candidate Grid Ref
19C 601 Sgorach Mor NS096849 56 Cruach a'Chanuill NS106844
34D 803 Coniston Old Man SD272978 96,97 Swirl How NY272005
35B 506 Thorpe Fell Top SE008596 104 Cracoe Fell (map 103) SD993588
36 396 Easington Fell SD730487 103 Waddington Fell SD714474
40 312 Hensbarrow Beacon SW996575 200 Many manmade summits  
42 238 Chanctonbury Hill TQ134120 198 Chanctonbury Ring TQ139120

Name Changes

The following Marilyns have been officially renamed. In some cases the general hill name is preferred to the summit name as it is more widely used. The new names for the Corbetts were agreed in consultation with the Scottish Mountaineering Club and are now used in the SMC Corbetts guidebook.

Section Metres Name Map Grid Ref Drop
1A 759 Shee of Ardtalnaig (was Ciste Buide a'Claidheimh) 51,52 NN729351 c 224
1C 771 Beinn Stacach (was Ceann na Baintighearna) 57 NN474163 363
1D 817 Stob Coire Creagach (was Binnein an Fhidhleir) 50,56 NN230109 504
4B 868 Meall na Meoig (was Beinn Pharlagain) 42 NN448642 191
6A 875 A'Chaoirnich (was Creag an Loch) 42 NN735807 213
13B 626 Beinn a'Chlachain (was Meall an Doireachean) 24 NG724490 c 373
18B 770 Stob a'Bealach an Sgriodain (was Druim Tarsuinn) 40 NM874727 259
30A 178 Mynydd Bodafon (was Yr Arwydd) 114 SH472854 178
30E 671 Esgeiriau Gwynion (was Foel Rhudd) 124,125 SH889236 c 166
31C 594 Llan Ddu Fawr (was Waen Claerddu) 135,147 SN790704 c 168
32A 423 Graig Syfyrddin (was Edmund's Tump) 161 SO403210 235
34B 352 Dent (was Long Barrow) 89 NY041129 c 175
34D 334 Kirkby Moor (was Lowick High Common) 96 SD259839 230
35B 402 Rombald's Moor (was Ilkley Moor) 104 SE114452 c 244
37 168 Normanby Top (was The Wolds) 113 TF121964 162
39 267 Wendover Woods (was Haddington Hill) 165 SP890089 180
40 252 Watch Croft (was White Downs) 203 SW420357 c 225
42 200 Detling Hill (was North Downs) 178,188 TQ804586 c 163

Numerous hills in the Western Isles (Lewis, Harris, Uists, Barra and nearby islands) have been given Gaelic names on recent OS maps, although many of the original names derive from Norse. Thus Clisham is now An Cliseam, Heaval is Sheabhal and so on. In line with current policy of accepting OS maps as definitive unless clearly wrong, most Marilyns in region 24 now have new official names, although names such as Muldoanich and North Lee will continue to be used alongside Maol Domhnaich, Li a'Tuath etc.

SubMarilyns

A SubMarilyn is a hill with a drop all round of 140-149m, i.e. within ten metres of being a Marilyn (18 have a drop of 149m and are within one metre of being Marilyns). There are currently 205 SubMarilyns, including ten Murdos, eleven Hewitts, five islands (Soay, Tiree, Seil, Colonsay, Lundy) and ten hills in the south of England. A list of all SubMarilyns is available online or on request.

Height Changes

There have been minor changes to the accepted height of numerous hills since RHB was published. Precise details are available in a series of TACit Tables published by TACit Press:

The Murdos Scottish hills over 914m with 30m drop
Corbett Tops and Corbetteers Scottish hills 762-914m with 30m drop
Graham Tops and Grahamists Scottish hills 610-761m with 30m drop
The Hewitts and Marilyns of England All English Marilyns and hills over 610m with 30m drop
The Hewitts and Marilyns of Wales All Welsh Marilyns and hills over 610m with 30m drop

Full details of current heights and drops, including those of Scottish Marilyns under 600m, are available in spreadsheet or database form via the RHB newsgroup: www.yahoogroups.com/group/rhb

Munros and Murdos

All 205 Scottish Marilyns over 3000 feet are now Munros, as the 1997 revision to Munro's Tables promoted three Marilyns and five non-Marilyns from Tops to Munros. In 1998 it was confirmed that the highest point of Beinn a'Chroin (1C) was 942m at NN387185 and therefore this point became the new Munro. This change does not affect the Marilyns as Beinn a'Chroin has a drop of only 137m. In 2001 the Ordnance Survey confirmed the highest point of Beinn a'Chaorainn (9C) as the Central Top at NN386850, with the South Top being 1050m. The only effect on the list of Marilyns is the increase in its height from 1050m to 1052m, as the summit grid reference remains the same. The number of Murdos (over 914m with 30m drop) is still 444.

Corbetts and Corbett Tops

There are 219 Marilyns from 2500 to 3000 feet high with a drop of over 150m. This is one fewer than in RHB, as Beinn Talaidh has dropped below 2500 feet. Although Corbetts require a drop of 500 feet (152.4m) rather than 150m, there are no hills of Corbett height with 150-152m drop. There are a further 450 Corbett Tops with a drop of 30m-149m, giving a total of 669 Corbett Tops. Full details are available in TACit Tables.

Grahams and Graham Tops

The Scottish Marilyns from 2000 to 2500 feet were referred to in RHB as the Elsies (LCs, short for Lesser Corbetts). This subset of the Marilyns was renamed Grahams in memory of the late Fiona Torbet (née Graham) who published her own list of Scottish hills between 2000 and 2500 feet in The Great Outdoors magazine in November 1992 (six months after RHB). Fiona had been unaware of the RHB list at the time, but later agreed to accept the relevant Scottish Marilyns as the definitive list of such hills. The 224 Grahams comprise the 222 Elsies listed in RHB plus Ladylea Hill (now 610m) and Beinn Talaidh (now 761m). The official list of Grahams is available in Graham Tops and Grahamists, which lists all 1000 Graham Tops.

Hewitts

The RHB list of Summits of Wales and England Above Two thousand feet (Sweats) has been revised and renamed Hewitts (Hills of England, Wales and Ireland over Two Thousand feet) to allow for expansion to Ireland. There are 314 Hewitts in England and Wales, 212 in Ireland. Full details of all Hewitts are available in the set of three TACit Tables published by TACit Press (one each for England, Wales and Ireland).

Marilyn Hall of Fame

Membership of the Marilyn Hall of Fame is open to anyone who has climbed over 600 Marilyns. By April 2006 there were 152 members. Full details are given in the annual Marilyn Hall of Fame newsletter (Marhofn), which also includes news and views from Hall members and other Marilyn baggers. Copies are available online or on request. The top storey of the Hall of Fame as at the end of 2005 is summarised below.

Rob Woodall 1549 Graham Illing 1444 Peter Collins 1218 Gordon Ingall 1038
Ken Whyte 1549 George Morl 1416 Gordon Adshead 1198 Richard Mclellan 1026
Ann Bowker 1549 Colin Crawford 1411 Stewart Logan 1177 Mary Cox 1021
Rowland Bowker 1544 Bert Barnett 1363 Richard Webb 1158 Hamish Brown 1018
Don Smithies 1538 Andrew Allum 1357 John Barnard 1158 John Crummett 1015
Tony Payne 1534 Chris Upson 1310 Richard Wood 1126 Dorothy Wilson 1010
James Gordon 1476 Bill Fairmaner 1300 Ursula Stubbings 1121 Brian Ewing 1004
Alan Holmes 1460 Alan Dawson 1299 Phil Cooper 1113 Moira Burks 1001
Ken Butcher 1450 Colin Donnelly 1273 Roderick Manson 1071 Alver Burks 1001
Charles Knowles 1447 Eddie Dealtry 1252 Gerry Knight 1053    

Further Information

Update sheets and newsletters are available online at www.rhb.org.uk while the SubMarilyns and many other datasets are available via www.yahoogroups.com/group/rhb For further information email rhb@rhb.org.uk