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 in April 1998. These updates will make little sense to anyone without a copy of the book.
I should like to thank Clem Clements for several suggestions which prompted discovery of new Marilyns, and everyone else who has been in contact with helpful comments, notably Bev Barratt, Stuart Benn, Ann Bowker, Roger Chapman, Colin Donnelly, Charles Everett, Dave Hewitt, Graham Marett, Jeff Parr, Richard Paul, Tony Payne, David Purchase, Micky Ross, David A Smith and David R Smith.
Two Marilyns were promoted at the end of 1998 (Nine Barrow Down and Swyre Head) and two deleted (Abberley Hill and Milk Hill). The total of Marilyns therefore remains at 1551 - 1213 in Scotland, 178 in England, 156 in Wales and 5 on the Isle of Man (Black Mountain is in both England and Wales).
The 150-metre qualification for the new Marilyns is a little controversial, as in both cases it is dependent on a man-made feature. The col separating Nine Barrow Down (also known as Godlingston Hill) from Swyre Head is occupied by Harman's Cross station, on the Swanage railway. The man-made feature of Swyre Head is at its summit, in the shape of an ancient 5-metre high tumulus. This is fully grassed over (apart from a concrete slab on top, which is not relevant), and looks like a natural part of the hill, so it has been accepted as such. The triangulation pillar is 5m lower than the tumulus and about 100 metres away, but had it been located on the highest point then few would question its height or status.
The other significant change concerns the Hill of Nigg. Its highest point was discovered to be a grassy knoll about 1000 metres from the triangulation pillar.
The 17 new Marilyns discovered since 1992 are listed below. Cheriton Hill becomes 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 from contours, in the absence of spot heights).
|20B||318||1043||Giur-bheinn (Islay)||60,61||NR379728||c 150|
|21A||491||1611||The Bochel||36||NJ232232||c 154|
|24A||261||856||Beinn Bhragair (Lewis)||8||NB266433||c 150|
|28A||423||1389||Sell Moor Hill||73||NT480444||c 150|
|30C||389||1275||Mynydd Rhyd ddu||116||SJ054477||165|
|30F||321||1053||Craig y Castell||124||SH698162||153|
|31A||507||1663||Disgwylfa Fawr||135||SN737847||c 152|
|32C||258||846||Mynydd Dinas||170||SS761915||c 151|
|35A||675||2215||Lovely Seat||98||SD879950||c 150|
|41||199||653||Nine Barrow Down||195||SZ008811||c 152|
Eight hills listed as Marilyns in RHB are now known to have less than 150m drop all round. It is still possible to enjoy climbing these hills even though they are no longer Marilyns.
|16F||589||1932||Sgorr Tuath||15||NC110074||c 148|
Two further hills not listed in RHB were promoted to Marilyns in 1996 but deleted two years later after more detailed investigation.
|38B||285||935||Abberley Hill||138,150||SO751672||c 148|
|39||295||968||Milk Hill||173||SU104643||c 148|
The Marilyn status of Abberley Hill was dependent on a disused railway cutting, which was filled in at the critical col shortly after its promotion. By contrast Milk Hill had been wrongly promoted in the first place, owing to the misleading representation of contours on the OS 1:10000 map.
Four hills listed in RHB have each been superseded by a nearby summit:
|28A||567||1860||East Cairn Hill replaces||65,72||NT128593||169|
|28A||562||1844||West Cairn Hill||65,72||NT107584||c 130|
|35B||609||1998||Horse Head Moor replaces||98||SD893768||157|
|38B||254||833||Hegdon Hill replaces||149||SO585539||c 156|
|38B||252||827||Grendon Green||149||SO599574||c 39|
|41||279||915||Lewesdon Hill replaces||193||ST437012||185|
|41||277||908||Pilsdon Pen||193||ST413011||c 83|
The highest point of twelve summits has been changed to a nearby grid reference on the same hill:
|1D||744||2441||Meall nan Gabhar||50||NN235240||265|
|5B||827||2713||An Dun||42||NN717805||c 232|
|9B||492||1614||Meall an Tarsaid||34||NN492130||c 155|
|15B||205||672||Hill of Nigg||21||NH821705||c 193|
|17C||281||921||Sgurr nan Caorach||32||NH593030||c 216|
|20A||304||998||Cruach na Seilcheig||55,61||NR678984||c 179|
|32A||384||1260||Bryn Arw||161||SO301206||c 156|
|34D||339||1112||Lambrigg Fell||97||SD586941||c 152|
Eleven hills have been given new names. In many cases the general hill name is preferred to the summit name.
|1A||759||2490||Shee of Ardtalnaig (was Ciste Buide a'Claidheimh)||51,52||NN729351||c 224|
|1E||657||2155||Beinn Dubh (was Mid Hill)||56||NS322964||430|
|3B||726||2382||Beinn Bhreac (was Mam Hael)||50||NN008408||c 161|
|13B||626||2053||Beinn a'Chlachain (was Meall an Doireachean)||24||NG724490||c 373|
|30A||178||584||Mynydd Bodafon (was Yr Arwydd)||114||SH472854||178|
|30E||671||2201||Esgeiriau Gwynion (was Foel Rhudd)||124,125||SH889236||c 166|
|32A||423||1388||Graig Syfyrddin (was Edmund's Tump)||161||SO403210||235|
|34B||352||1155||Dent (was Long Barrow)||89||NY041129||c 175|
|35B||402||1320||Rombald's Moor (was Ilkley Moor)||104||SE114452||c 244|
|40||252||828||Watch Croft (was White Downs)||203||SW420357||c 225|
|42||200||656||Detling Hill (was North Downs)||178,188||TQ804586||c 163|
Summit heights are now taken from 1:10000 or 1:25000 maps where possible, as the OS have admitted that spot heights on these are usually more up-to-date than on 1:50000 maps. Numerous hills have therefore changed height by one, two, or three metres. Six hills have gained or lost five or more metres: Cat Law (Section 7A, -7m to 671m), Beinn Iaruinn (9C, +5m to 805m), Beinn Bhreac (19C, +12m to 519m), Cruach na Seilcheig (20A, +8m to 304m), Mynydd Nodol (30D, +9m to 539m), Gamallt (30F, -6m to 288m).
In 1997 the Scottish Mountaineering Club published a new edition of Munro's Tables, in which three Marilyns were promoted from Tops to Munros (Spidean Coire nan Clach on Beinn Eighe, Stob Coire Raineach on Buachaille Etive Beag, and Tom na Gruagaich on Beinn Alligin). This means all 205 Scottish Marilyns over 3000 feet are now Munros. Five non-Marilyns were also promoted from Tops to Munros. 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).
In 1998 it was confirmed that the highest point of Beinn a'Chroin was at NN387185 and therefore this point became the Munro (941.5m compared to 940m for the East Top). Both Tops remain Murdos, and the change does not affect the Marilyns as Beinn a'Chroin has a drop of 137m and is therefore not a Marilyn.
The position with Beinn a'Chaorainn (Section 9C) is less clear cut. The South Top is shown as 1050m on recent Landranger maps, and the tiny 1050m contour has been removed from the Central Top, while the 1:25000 map gives 1049m for both Central and South Tops. In the absence of any definite information on which to base a change of status, the Central Top remains the Marilyn (and the Munro) for the time being. Few walkers will have climbed one and not the other.
There are now 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. The 1997 edition of Munro's Tables lists 220 Corbetts, with Buidhe Bheinn (see below) being the additional summit. However, this is a not a Marilyn as it is the same height as Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais, and the drop between the two is around 122m. Although Corbetts require a drop of 500 feet (152.4m), there are no hills of Corbett height with 150-152m drop.
These hills are of equal height to a nearby Marilyn but the drop between the two is less than 150m.
|2B||1118||3668||An Stuc (twinned with Meall Garbh)||51||NN639431||127|
|8B||862||2829||Creag an Dhail Bheag (twinned with Carn Liath)||36,43||NO157981||34|
|10A||885||2904||Buidhe Bheinn (twinned with Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais)||33||NG963090||c 122|
|16C||404||1325||Cnoc Coir a'Phuill (twinned with Creag Thoraraidh)||17||ND046202||c 60|
|17E||704||2311||Cruachan Dearg (twinned with Corra Bheinn)||48||NM568331||c 130|
|31C||205||673||Middleton Hill (twinned with Brandy Hill)||158||SN146118||c 40|
Na Maoilean (Section 3B) has four tiny 350m contour rings, the largest of which is at NM976374. Several other hills have two or more nearby points of apparently equal height. Examples include:
|19B||466||1529||Cruach Lusach||55||NR786832 /||NR788830||279|
|31B||477||1565||Gwastedyn Hill||136,147||SN982663 /||SN986661||c 242|
|31B||451||1480||Aberedw Hill||147||SO084507 /||SO087504||227|
|31B||442||1450||Rhiw Gwraidd||147||SO009633 /||SO014633||c 214|
|38B||269||883||Seager Hill||149||SO612390 /||SO624379||c 164|
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 has now been 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). This list had no precise definition, and 34 current Grahams were omitted. 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, provided the name Grahams was used and that Mid Hill and Mam Hael were renamed. The 224 current Grahams comprise the 222 such hills listed in RHB plus Ladylea Hill (1998 feet in RHB, now 2001 feet) and Beinn Talaidh (2502 feet in RHB, now 2497 feet). The official list of Grahams is available in The Grahams and the New Donalds, published by TACit Press (second edition February 1999), and in the 1997 edition of Munro's Tables. These two lists are identical, and the same as in RHB apart from a few minor amendments. To date six people are known to have climbed all the Grahams: Colin Dodgson, Andrew Templeton, Andrew Allum, Andrew Dempster, Peter Lincoln and another (not an Andrew) who wishes to remain anonymous.
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 cover Ireland. There are now 314 Hewitts in England and Wales (and a further 212 in Ireland). Full details of all Hewitts are available in three booklets published by TACit Press: The Hewitts and Marilyns of Wales, The Hewitts and Marilyns of England, and The Hewitts and Marilyns of Ireland (the first listing of the Irish Marilyns). All three booklets include an up-to-date list of the relevant County Tops.
A SubMarilyn is a hill with a drop all round of 140-149m, i.e. within ten metres of being a Marilyn (21 have a drop of 149m and are within one metre of being Marilyns). There are currently 206 SubMarilyns, including 10 Murdos, 19 SubCorbetts, 23 SubGrahams, 11 Hewitts, 5 islands (Soay, Tiree, Seil, Colonsay, Lundy) and 10 hills in the south of England. A list of all SubMarilyns is available on request.
Ann Bowker is now the world's leading Marilyn bagger, having overtaken her husband Rowland in October 1998, on Stac Pollaidh. Both have climbed over 97% of the Marilyns. Membership of the Marilyn Hall of Fame is open to anyone who has climbed over 600 Marilyns. The increase in members from 21 to 36 during 1998 means it is no longer possible to include all the details in this update sheet. Full membership data, together with some recent member news, is now given in a separate Hall of Fame newsletter, which is available on request. A summary of the Hall as of the end of 1998 is shown below.
|John Crummett||c 897|
|Andrew Templeton||c 708|
|Colin Dodgson||c 705|
|Eddie Harwood||c 634|
If you wish to receive any future update sheets, or a list of SubMarilyns, or the Hall of Fame newsletter, or register for membership of the Hall of Fame, please write to Alan Dawson, 49 Airthrey Avenue, Glasgow G14 9LY or send electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org