Update to The Relative Hills of Britain

April 1997

Alan Dawson

Since this book was published in April 1992 sales have been modest and stocks at Cicerone Press are still plentiful. A printed second edition is therefore a long way off, but purchasers are entitled to have up-to-date information, and so the most important changes since publication are summarised here. These updates will make little sense to anyone without a copy of the book.


Many of the updates are the result of new maps being published by the Ordnance Survey, but I have also received a fair amount of help in keeping track of changes to the list of Marilyns. I should like to thank E.D.Clements for numerous suggestions leading to the discovery of several new Marilyns, Charles Everett for discovering and researching the problematic status of Abberley Hill and Milk Hill, and everyone else who has been in contact with comments and suggestions, notably Stuart Benn, Ann Bowker, Colin Donnelly, Dave Hewitt, Graham Marett, Tony Payne, David Smith and Chris Upson.


Seventeen hills have been elevated from the relative wilderness of the SubMarilyns list to the premier league of full Marilyn status. The drop shown refers to the height difference (in metres) between the summit and the col connecting the hill to the next Marilyn. A c in the drop column means there is no col height shown on any map, so the drop is estimated from the contour lines. Abberley Hill and Milk Hill only qualify by virtue of a railway cutting at the relevant col, so some might consider their inclusion contentious, but I have taken the view that the cuttings must now be considered as permanent features of the landscape.

RegionMetresFeetNameMapGrid RefDrop
4A232761Cruim Leacainn41NN 166807150
20B3181043Giur-bheinn (Islay)60,61NR 379728c150
21A4911611The Bochel36NJ 232232c154
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
38B285935Abberley Hill138SO 751672c157
38B276904Aconbury Hill149SO 505330157
39295968Milk Hill173SU 104643c151
42188617Cheriton Hill (the easternmost Marilyn)179,189TR 197396150


These eight hills are now known to have less than 150 metres drop all round. It is a pity to lose them, especially Sgorr Tuath and Scafell, but there are so many hills queuing up for promotion that a strict policy of eviction has had to be enforced on any hills with less than the required 150-metre drop. It is still possible to climb these hills even though they are no longer Marilyns.

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 17 additions and 8 deletions bring the current total of Marilyns to 1551 - 1213 in Scotland, 178 in England, 156 in Wales and 5 in the Isle of Man (Black Mountain is in both England and Wales).


28A5671860East Cairn Hill replaces65,72NT 128593
28A5621844West Cairn Hill65,72NT 107584
35B6091998Horse Head Moor replaces98SD 893768
35B6081995Birks Fell98SD 918763
38B254833Hegdon Hill replaces149SO 585539
38B252827Grendon Green149SO 599574
41279915Lewesdon Hill replaces193ST 437012
41277908Pilsdon Pen193ST 413011

Moving Targets

The summits of these hills have moved to a new location but have retained their old name.

1D7442441Meall nan Gabhar50NN 235240
58272713An Dun42NN 717805
15A4641522Breac-Bheinn20NH 498950
17C281921Sgurr nan Caorach32NH 593030
19A3601181Dun Leacainn55NN 033016
19C5191703Beinn Bhreac63NS 050778
20A304998Cruach na Seilcheig55,61NR 678984
32A3841260Bryn Arw161SO 301206
34D3391112Lambrigg Fell97SD 586941
42242794Crowborough188TQ 510305

Nominal Changes

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
30A178584Mynydd Bodafon (was Yr Arwydd)114SH 472854
30E6712201Esgeiriau Gwynion (was Foel Rhudd)124,125SH 889236
32A4231388Graig Syfyrddin (was Edmund's Tump)161SO 403210
34B3521155Dent (was Long Barrow)89NY 041129
40252828Watch Croft (was White Downs)203SW 420357
42200656Detling Hill (was North Downs)178,188TQ 804586

Wuthering Heights

Summit heights are now taken from 1:10000 or 1:25000 maps where possible, as the Ordnance Survey have admitted that these are more up-to-date than 1:50000 maps. Details of hills that have changed height by five or more metres since 1992 are listed below, along with a few other significant height changes.

RegionMetresFeetNameMapGrid RefChange
76712201Cat Law44NO 319611-7
9C8052641Beinn Iaruinn34NN 296900+5
17E7612497Beinn Talaidh49NM 625347-2
19C5191703Beinn Bhreac63NS 050778+12
20A304998Cruach na Seilcheig55,61NR 678984+8
21A6102001Ladylea Hill37NJ 343168+1
30D5391768Mynydd Nodol124/125SH 865393+9
30F288945Gamallt124SH 665067-6


A SubMarilyn is a hill with a drop all round of 140-149 metres, i.e. within ten metres of being a Marilyn. There are currently 206 SubMarilyns, including 10 Murdos, 19 SubCorbetts, 23 SubGrahams, 5 new islands (Soay, Tiree, Seil, Colonsay, Lundy) and ten hills in the south of England. The following 21 hills miss out by just one metre; they each have a drop all round of 149 metres. The full list of SubMarilyns is available on request.

RegionMetresFeetNameMapGrid 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 Hill67,74,75NT 944586
30A192630Mynydd Anelog123SH 152272
30C3051001Mynydd y Cwm116SJ 073767
30F3831257Bryn Brith124SH 664153
34C7782552Harter Fell90NY 459093
34C4871598Baystones90NY 403052
38A3201050Earl's Hill126SJ 409048
42255837Littleton Down197SU 941150

Twin Peaks

These hills are of equal height to a nearby Marilyn but the drop between them is less than 150 metres.

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

Munros and Murdos

The Scottish Mountaineering Club is preparing a new edition of Munro's Tables, in which the three Marilyns currently classified only as Tops are likely to be promoted to Munros, along with five other Tops. Details of the 444 Scottish summits over 3000 feet with 30 metres drop are available in The Murdos, published by TACit Press, 138 West Stirling Street, Alva, Clackmannanshire FK12 5EN (#1.95 inc p&p).


The number of Corbetts is now down to 219, as Beinn Talaidh is less than 2500 feet high and Corrieyairack Hill has shrunk to 892 metres, leaving Gairbeinn at 896 metres undisputed as a Corbett. Buidhe Bheinn is now of equal height to Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais (Glen Shiel) and a rival candidate for its Corbettness.


The Lesser Corbetts (Elsies) have been renamed Grahams in memory of the late Fiona Torbet (née 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. The official list of Grahams is available in The Grahams and the New Donalds, published by TACit Press, 138 West Stirling Street, Alva, Clackmannanshire FK12 5EN (#1.95 inc p&p).

Marilyn Hall of Fame

Rowland Bowker remains the world's leading Marilyn bagger, though Ann Bowker is slowly closing, having amassed 209 new Marilyns in 1996. The end-of-year accounts for 1996 show there are ten members of the Hall of Fame. Stuart Benn's figures look a little unbalanced and nationalistic compared to the others.

Name and
current home
BornMarilyns by end 1996
(Scot, IoM, Wales, Eng)
1st Marilyn1000th Marilyn
Rowland Bowker
(973, 1, 156, 176)
Great Orme
Turner Cleuch Law
Mar 95
Ann Bowker
(944, 1, 156, 176)
Dunkery Beacon
Jun 95
Tony Payne
(1014, 2, 100, 145)
Dunkery Beacon
Ellson Fell
Sep 95
Colin Donnelly
(746, 1, 131, 119)
Ben Ledi
Cruach Tairbeirt
Feb 97
John Crummett
(679, 1, 75, 115)
Great Whernside
Gordon Adshead
(451, 1, 124, 110)
Great Gable
Don Smithies
(504, 0, 70, 107)
Alan Dawson
(506, 1, 72, 73)
Stuart Benn
(583, 0, 7, 13)
Meikle Bin
Eddie Harwood
(478, 0, 38, 85)

Membership of the Hall is open to anyone who has climbed over 600 Marilyns and is willing to provide this type of information. I would be pleased to hear from other prospective members.


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 is now 314. Full details of all Hewitts are available in three booklets in the TACit Tables series: The Hewitts and Marilyns of Wales; The Hewitts and Marilyns of England and The Hewitts and Marilyns of Ireland. All three booklets published 1997 by TACit Press.

County Tops

Further research has uncovered new highpoints for Dorset (Lewesdon Hill) and Lancashire (Green Hill). Local government reorganisation has had a dramatic effect on the list of county tops, with Rutland reappearing from April 1997 and Berkshire disappearing in 1998. Details of the current county tops in England and Ireland, and the council tops in Wales, are published in the relevant TACit Tables booklet.

Further Information

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