Update to The Relative Hills of Britain

April 1996

Alan Dawson

This book was published in April 1992. Stocks at Cicerone Press are still plentiful, so a printed second edition seems a long way off. But past and future purchasers are entitled to have up-to-date information, so the most important changes since publication are summarised here. These updates will not make much sense to anyone without a copy of the book.


Most of the updates are the result of new 1:25000 or 1:10000 maps being published by the Ordnance Survey. This makes it easy to spot changes to heights of known hills, but not so easy to find new ones. However, I've had a fair bit of help in tracking down the new entries. I should like to thank E.D.Clements (Clem) for numerous suggestions leading to the discovery of several new Marilyns, Dave Hewitt for discovering East Cairn Hill, and David Smith for suggesting a second Kentish Marilyn. Thanks also to Ann Bowker, Charles Everett, Tony Payne, Fiona Torbet and everyone else who has written to me with comments and suggestions.


These hills have managed to convince me that they are entitled to be counted as Marilyns. The drop shown refers to the height difference (in metres) between the summit and the col connecting the hill to the next Marilyn. If there is more than one col, the highest col is used. If there is no spot height at the col, the drop is estimated from the position of contour lines - this is indicated by a c in the drop column.

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid RefDrop
4A232761Cruim Leacainn41NN 166807150
84911611The Bochel36NJ 232232c154
20B3181043Giur-bheinn (Islay)60,61NR 379728c150
24A261856Beinn Bhragair (Lewis)8NB 266433c150
28A4231389Sell Moor Hill73NT 480444c150
30C3891275Mynydd Rhyd ddu116SJ 054477165
30F3211053Craig y Castell124SH 698162153
31A5071663Disgwylfa Fawr135SN 737847c152
31B4601509Cefn Cenarth136SN 969762155
31C4661529Carn Gafallt136,147SN 940646157
32C258846Mynydd Dinas170SS 761915c151
34B244800Swinside89,90NY 243224152
35A6752215Lovely Seat98SD 879950c150
38B276904Aconbury Hill149SO 505330157
42188617Cheriton Hill (the easternmost Marilyn)179,189TR 197396150


These hills are now known to have less than 150 metres drop all round. Originally I intended that there should be no deletions, but when I discovered Cunnigill Hill had a drop of only 127 metres, I realised that it would have to go. It's very sad to see Sgorr Tuath, Scafell and others disappear with it, but there are so many hills queuing up for promotion that I had to be ruthless with anything that did not meet the 150-metre mark.

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid RefDrop
16F5891932Sgorr Tuath15NC 110074c148
19C5681863Cruach Bhuidhe56NS 125947149
22176577Cunnigill Hill2,3HU 432675127
337142342Hedgehope Hill80NT 943198148
336152018Cushat Law80NT 928137147
34B9643162Scafell89,90NY 206064133
34C7782552Harter Fell90NY 459093149
34C4871598Baystones90NY 403052149

The 15 additions and 8 deletions bring the current total of Marilyns to 1549 - 1213 in Scotland, 155 in Wales, 176 in England and 5 in the Isle of Man. It is unlikely that any completely new Marilyns will be discovered, though it is possible that one or two SubMarilyns will be promoted in areas where metric 1:10000 or 1:25000 maps have not yet been published.


RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid Ref
East Cairn Hill replaces
West Cairn Hill
65,72NT 128593
NT 107584
Horse Head Moor replaces
Birks Fell
98SD 893768
SD 918763
Hegdon Hill replaces
Grendon Green
149SO 585539
SO 599574
Lewesdon Hill replaces
Pilsdon Pen
193ST 437012
ST 413011

Moving Targets

The summits of these hills have also moved to a new home but have kept their old name.

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid Ref
1D7442441Meall nan Gabhar50NN 235240
58272713An Dun42NN 717805
15A4641522Breac-Bheinn20NH 498950
19A3601181Dun Leacainn55NN 033016
19C5191703Beinn Bhreac63NS 050778
20A304998Cruach na Seilcheig55,61NR 678984
32A3841260Bryn Arw161SO 301206
34D3391112Lambrigg Fell97SD 586941

Nominal Changes

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid Ref
1A7592490Shee of Artalnaig (was Ciste Buide a'Claidheimh)51,52NN 729351
1E6572155Beinn Dubh (was Mid Hill)56NS 322964
3B7262382Beinn Bhreac (was Mam Hael)50NN 008408
13B6262053Beinn a'Chlachain (was Meall an Doireachean)24NG 724490
30E6712201Esgeiriau Gwynion (was Foel Rhudd)124,125SH 889236
40252828Watch Croft (was White Downs)203SW 420357
42200656Detling Hill (was North Downs)178,188TQ 804586

Wuthering Heights

The Ordnance Survey have now admitted that heights on metric 1:10000 and 1:25000 maps (where available) are more accurate than on 1:50000 maps, and they have started to update some of the heights on a few of the 1:50000 maps. Therefore heights are now taken from 1:10000 or 1:25000 maps where possible, even where these are lower than those shown on Landranger maps. Some of the more significant new heights are shown below (with the change shown in metres).

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid RefChange
1D9153002Ben Vane56NN 277098-1
4A12344048Aonach Beag41NN 196715-2
4A12204002Carn Mor Dearg41NN 177722-3
4A9823222An Gearanach41NN 187670-3
4A9092982Leum Uilleim41NN 331641+3
76712201Cat Law44NO 319611-7
812914236Cairn Toul36,43NN 963972-2
9C8052641Beinn Iaruinn34NN 296900+5
10C9042966Ben Tee34NN 241972+3
11A9793212Ciste Dhubh33NH 062166-3
14B9993278Sgurr Breac20NH 158711-1
14B9973271A'Chailleach20NH 136714-2
17E7612497Beinn Talaidh49NM 625347-2
21A6102001Ladylea Hill37NJ 343168+1
30D5391768Mynydd Nodol124/125SH 865393+9


The following 20 hills miss out on Marilyn status by just one metre, as they each have a drop all round of 149 metres.

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid Ref
1C6742211Meall Cala57NN 508127
2A4651525Meall Chomraidh42,51NN 483556
58302723Glas Mheall Mor42NN 563673
73371105Hill of Goauch38,45NO 662942
9B8342736Marg na Craige35NN 620973
10D8962940Beinn Gharbh40NM 882876
10D3271073Meall Bhanabhie41NN 116789
17E3481142Cruach Torr an Lochain (Mull)47,48NM 563402
19C5681863Cruach Bhuidhe56NS 125947
20C4801575Sail Chalmadale (Arran)62,69NR 914401
27B7862579Kirriereoch Hill77NX 421870
27C6812234Blacklorg Hill77NS 653042
27C240788Killyleoch Hill78NX 878820
28B217712Ayton Hill67,74NT 944586
30A192630Mynydd Anelog123SH 152272
30C3051001Coed Cwm116SJ 073767
30F3831257Bryn Brith124SH 664153
34C7782552Harter Fell90NY 459093
34C4871598Baystones90NY 403052
38A3201050Earl's Hill126SJ 409048

According to the most recently available maps there are a total of 207 SubMarilyns, i.e. hills with a drop all round of 140-149 metres. The full list is available on request to anyone who sends me an SAE. It includes 10 Murdos, 19 SubCorbetts, 23 SubGrahams, 5 new islands (Soay, Tiree, Seil, Colonsay, Lundy) and 12 hills in the south of England, which badly needs them.

Twin Peaks

These hills are of equal height to a nearby Marilyn but the drop between them is less than 150 metres. It is a somewhat arbitrary decision to include one rather than the other.

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid Ref
2B11183668An Stuc (twinned with Meall Garbh)51NN 639431
88622829Creag an Dail Bheag (twinned with Carn Liath)36,43NO 157981
10A8852904Buidhe Bheinn (twinned with Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais)33NG 963090
17E7042311Cruachan Dearg (twinned with Corra Bheinn)48NM 568331
31C205 673Middleton Hill (twinned with Brandy Hill)158SN 146118

Corbetts and Grahams

The Lesser Corbetts (Elsies) have been renamed Grahams in memory of the late Fiona Torbet (nee Graham) who compiled her own list of Scottish hills between 2000 and 2500 feet before agreeing to merge it with the relevant Scottish Marilyns. There are 224 of them, as Ladylea Hill has been promoted and Beinn Talaidh demoted. Beinn Talaidh is still shown as 763 metres on the 1:25000 and 1:10000 maps, but this point is clearly outside the 760-metre contour ring and does not exist. A booklet including the official list of Grahams has been published by TACit Press, House 48, 170 Sandiefield Road, Glasgow G5 0DL (1.95 inc p&p).

The number of Corbetts is down to 219, as Beinn Talaidh is now a Graham. Corrieyairack Hill, which was never a Marilyn but still regarded as a Corbett by the Scottish Mountaineering Club, is down to 892 metres, leaving Gairbeinn at 896 metres currently undisputed as a Corbett.

Marilyn Bagging

The world's leading Marilyn bagger is still Rowland Bowker, but he has got a bit of competition. Lots of people seem interested in this, so here is the league table as known at the end of 1995:

Name and
current home
BornMarilyns by end 1995
(Scot, IoM, Wal, Eng)
1st Marilyn1000th Marilyn
Rowland Bowker
(800, 1, 135, 176)
Great Orme
Turner Cleuch Law
Tony Payne
(c863, 2, c95, c110)
Dunkery Beacon
Ellson Fell
Ann Bowker
(766, 1, 124, 176)
Dunkery Beacon
Colin Donnelly
(692, 1, 118, 115)
Ben Ledi
John Crummett
(660, 1, 72, 112)
Great Whernside 
Gordon Adshead
(415, 1, 95, 101)
Great Gable

There are others who should really appear in this list; some wish to remain anonymous, some I just don't know about. As I seem to have started keeping these details, I would be pleased to hear from anyone else who has climbed over 600 Marilyns, ideally with this sort of information.


The Sweats (Summits of Wales and England Above Two thousand feet) have been renamed Hewitts (Hills of England, Wales and Ireland over Two Thousand feet) to allow for expansion to cover Ireland. The number of Hewitts in England and Wales has fallen from 319 to 314, with seven deletions and two additions. Birks Fell has dropped below 2000 feet, and been replaced as a Marilyn by Horse Head Moor. The other changes are the result of the 30-metre drop requirement.

Additions: These hills are now known to have 30 metres drop all round.

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid RefDrop
34B7722533Wandope89,90NY 18819730
35A6142014The Dodd86,87NY 791457c31

Deletions: These hills are now known to have less than 30 metres drop all round.

RegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid RefDrop
30D6432110Llechwedd-llyfn124,125SH 85744425
30D6142014Foel Penolau124SH 66134826
32A6542146Allt Lwyd160SO 07818928
32A8732864Corn Du160SO 00721328
34B7032306Ladyside Pike89,90NY 18422728
35A6342080Fiend's Fell86NY 64340627

County Tops

Further research has uncovered new highpoints for three English counties:

CountyRegionMetresFeetNameOS MapGrid RefDrop
Dorset41279915Lewesdon Hill193ST 437012185
Lancashire35B6282060Green Hill98SD 70182024
South Yorkshire365501804Howden Edge110SK 187943c65

Avon, Cleveland and Humberside ceased to exist from 1st April 1996. The Scottish and Welsh county tops ceased to be meaningful from the same date. Instead there are now 32 Council Tops in Scotland and 22 in Wales. A list of the new Scottish Council Tops is available on request.

Further Information

If you have any comments or wish to receive a printed copy of this update sheet let me know by sending electronic mail to