BB2137 : The Kings of Lancashire

Wednesday 10th November 2021

It was time to settle the argument.  Is it Green Hill ?  Or should it be Gragareth? Which should really have the title?

I refer of course to the question raised last week by David W after I innocently wrote that once The Old Man Of Coniston had shuffled off to Cumbria, the highest point of Lancashire was Green Hill.  Well that is what Wiki said so it must be true.



Wiki is only as good as the information fed into it.  

David pointed me in the direction of a survey conducted in 2014 by Alan Dawson, considered by many to be Britain's pre-eminent mountain surveyor.  

His conclusion, published in The Relative Hills of Britain, was that:

Gragareth, 628m, is the new county top of Lancashire,
as Green Hill is only 627.5 m

The OS map seems to agree.  Although the trig point is shown as being at 627 m (2,054 feet), mapping software suggests that it is not quite at the high point of Gragareth, which at 2,057 is a touch higher than Green Hill.

A close call but a win is a win.  

Would we agree?  It was time to find out.  Armed with various gps devices, we set off to draw our own conclusion.

It might not have been the best day to attempt a solution. It has been a rather damp period lately and the area is prone to boggyness.  Indeed, John remarked that he had been up Great Coum recently where it was so bad he sank up to his knee at one point.

The clag was down when we parked at Leck Fell House, the lonely farm at the end of the long, long road.  Fortunately it started to lift as we began our steep climb.

The Three Ladies and then the Three Men came into view.

We said hello to the latter and continued on our way to the trig point.  We noted GPS reading and then I searched around for the actual high point.  Unfortunately it is a rather tufty, flattish area with bogs.  Concentrating too hard on the gps, I managed to trip and fall into one!  I decided it wasn't worth pursuing it any more.  I had found what I thought to be the actual top.

We squelched along the Lancashire Way ridge.  Ingleborough was emerging from its shroud.

Once we reached Green Hill we took more readings.  The results will be revealed later.

A little further on, where three walls meet at a modest boulder, so do three counties.: Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland (or whatever they are now called).  We sheltered behind one of the walls (still in Lancashire) for lunch.

The plan now was to follow the wall round to Great Coum then on to the Crag Hill trig point.  We had glimpses of the Howgills.....

..... and Barbondale.

The long descent took us almost to the Bullpot caving centre before finding a reasonably well marked path across the fell and down to a bridge that crossed Ease Gill.  

It's not a great stream, even after all the rain, but it must have been in antiquity as it ha carved out remarkable shapes in the rocks.  

On the south side of the bridge the water disappears.  

A cave reveals what is happening.  

The gill turns into a waterfall then disappears into a hole going Lord know how deep.

We continued down what was once the river bed, passing several pothole entrances, one boarded up and padlocked, another boasting a rope for folk to clamber down.  

We thought about exploring the cave but mindful of what had happened very recently to a man in the Mendips we thought better of it.  

Well, actually, it only took a nanosecond and we would have reached the same decision anyway.

After all, it would soon start to get dark.

It was a long trudge back to the car.  A mile of strenuous climbing through heather and bog.  It was quite a relief to reach the car and head down to the Brewery in Kirkby Lonsdale for the results.

Before making the announcement, I should make it clear that none of our six devices are as sophisticated as Alan Dawson's.  Nevertheless we have a winner.

The score is:

Green Hill 2 - Gragareth 4

The Three Men Of Gragareth are now officially The Kings of Lancashire.

Don, Wednesday 10th November 2021


Don, Robin, John, Martin


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BB2137 Route:  Map: OS 1:50k


BB2137 : The Kings of Lancashire


10th November 2021


Gragareth, Green Hill, Great Comb, Crag Hill


Don, John, Martin, Robin

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (Memory Map)


GPX track


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