Update to The Relative Hills of Britain

April 2002

Alan Dawson

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 1999.


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, namely Clem Clements, Charles Everett, Dave Hewitt, Tony Payne and David R Smith. All other comments have also been much appreciated, and all suggestions have been investigated wherever possible.

Changes since April 1999

There have been no entirely new Marilyns discovered in the past three years, and no existing ones deleted. However, there has been one major change: Baystones (Section 34B), deleted in 1995, has been reinstated with an extra metre of height and a new summit location. The number of Marilyns has therefore risen to 1552 for the first time - 1213 in Scotland, 179 in England, 156 in Wales and 5 on the Isle of Man (Black Mountain is in both England and Wales). Baystones is the first summit to gain promotion after being relegated, though there have been two relegations following promotion (Abberley Hill and Milk Hill). Other significant changes since 1999 concern confirmation of new summits for Sgurr nan Eugallt (10B) and Maesglase (30F). Their new heights and grid references are listed below, along with details of other summit and name changes.


The 17 new Marilyns discovered since 1992 are listed below. Cheriton Hill is now 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).

Section Metres Feet Name Map Grid Ref Drop
4A 232 761 Cruim Leacainn 34,41 NN166807 150
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
31B 460 1509 Cefn Cenarth 136,147 SN969762 155
31C 466 1529 Carn Gafallt 147 SN940646 157
32C 258 846 Mynydd Dinas 170 SS761915 c 152
34B 244 800 Swinside 89,90 NY243224 152
35A 675 2215 Lovely Seat 98 SD879950 c 150
38B 276 904 Aconbury Hill 149 SO505330 157
41 208 682 Swyre Head 195 SY934784 150
41 199 653 Nine Barrow Down 195 SZ008811 c 152
42 188 617 Cheriton Hill 179,189 TR197396 150


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

16F 589 1932 Sgorr Tuath 15 NC110074 c 148
19C 568 1863 Cruach Bhuidhe 56 NS125947 149
22 176 577 Cunnigill Hill 2,3 HU432675 127
33 714 2342 Hedgehope Hill 80 NT943198 148
33 615 2018 Cushat Law 80 NT928137 147
34B 964 3162 Scafell 89,90 NY206064 133
34C 778 2552 Harter Fell 90 NY459093 149

Two further hills not listed in RHB were accorded Marilyn status in 1996 but deleted in 1998:

38B 285 935 Abberley Hill 138,150 SO751672 c 147
39 295 968 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

Four hills listed in RHB have 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
35B 608 1995 Birks Fell 98 SD918763 29
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

Some walkers who have visited Birks Fell concluded that the highest point is in fact the summit listed in RHB as 610m, although this no longer has a spot height on any OS map, so the position remains uncertain.

Summit Changes

There have to date been 16 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 2441 Meall nan Gabhar 50 NN235240 265
5B 827 2713 An Dun 42 NN717805 c 232
9B 492 1614 Meall an Tarsaid 34 NN491130 c 155
10B 898 2945 Sgurr nan Eugallt 33 NG927048 c 624
15A 464 1522 Breac-Bheinn 20 NH498950 159
15B 205 673 Hill of Nigg 21 NH821705 c 193
17C 281 922 Sgurr nan Caorach 32 NH593030 c 216
19A 360 1181 Dun Leacainn 55 NN033016 272
19C 519 1703 Beinn Bhreac 63 NS050778 371
20A 304 998 Cruach na Seilcheig 55,61 NR678984 c 179
30F c 676 2219 Maesglase 124,125 SH817150 c 313
32A 384 1260 Bryn Arw 161 SO301206 c 156
34C c 488 1601 Baystones 90 NY403051 c 150
34D 339 1112 Lambrigg Fell 97 SD586941 c 152
38A c 335 1099 Callow Hill 137,138 SO460850 c 154
42 242 794 Crowborough 188 TQ510305 c 159

The new 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, e.g. Bryn Arw, Lambrigg Fell and Crowborough. The situation is also unclear for some other Marilyns where summit relocation or duplication is possible. Some notable cases, where the alternative summit has a different grid reference, are listed below:

Section Metres Current Marilyn Grid Ref Map Alternative candidate
15B 692 Beinn Tharsuinn NH606792 21 NH599802
19C 601 Sgorach Mor NS096849 56 NS106844
32B 481 Hirfynydd SN839076 160 SN840075
34D 803 Coniston Old Man SD272978 96,97 NY272005 (Swirl How)
36 561 Ward's Stone SD592587 102 SD586585
36 396 Easington Fell SD730487 103 SD714474 (Waddington Fell)
38A 540 Brown Clee Hill SO593865 137,138 SO595867
38B 290 Ruardean Hill SO635168 162 SO634139
40 312 Hensbarrow Beacon SW996575 200 Many nearby manmade hills

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 five Corbetts have been agreed in consultation with the Scottish Mountaineering Club and will be used in the latest edition of the SMC Corbetts guidebook.

1A 759 2490 Shee of Ardtalnaig (was Ciste Buide a'Claidheimh) 51,52 NN729351 c 224
1C 771 2529 Beinn Stacath (was Ceann na Baintighearna) 57 NN474163 363
1D 817 2680 Stob Coire Creagach (was Binnein an Fhidhleir) 50,56 NN230109 504
1E 657 2155 Beinn Dubh (was Mid Hill) 56 NS321962 430
3B 726 2382 Beinn Bhreac (was Mam Hael) 50 NN008408 c 161
4B 868 2848 Meall na Meoig (was Beinn Pharlagain) 42 NN448642 191
6A 875 2871 A'Chaoirnich (was Creag an Loch) 42 NN735807 213
13B 626 2054 Beinn a'Chlachain (was Meall an Doireachean) 24 NG724490 c 373
18B 770 2526 Stob a'Bealach an Sgriodain (was Druim Tarsuinn) 40 NM874727 259
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
34D 334 1096 Kirkby Moor (was Lowick High Common) 96 SD259839 230
35B 402 1319 Rombald's Moor (was Ilkley Moor) 104 SE114452 c 244
39 267 876 Wendover Woods (was Haddington Hill) 165 SP890089 180
40 252 827 Watch Croft (was White Downs) 203 SW420357 c 225
42 200 656 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 no doubt continue to be used alongside Maol Domhnaich, Li a'Tuath etc.

Twin Peaks

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

Section Metres Feet Name Map Grid Refs Drop
2B 1118 3668 Meall Garbh / An Stuc 51 NN644436 / NN639431 127
8B 862 2829 Carn Liath / Creag an Dhail Bheag 36,43 NO165977 / NO157981 34
10A 885 2904 Sgurr a'Bhac Chaolais / Buidhe Bheinn 33 NG958110 / NG963090 c 122
16C 404 1325 Creag Thoraraidh / Cnoc Coir a'Phuill 17 ND040187 / ND046202 c 60
17E 704 2311 Corra Bheinn / Cruachan Dearg 48 NM573321 / NM568331 c 130
31C 205 673 Brandy Hill / Middleton Hill 158 SN213133 / SN146118 c 40

Na Maoilean (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


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 205 SubMarilyns, including ten Murdos, nineteen SubCorbetts, 23 SubGrahams, 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 Marilyns 762-914m and hills 762-914m with 30m drop
The Grahams and the New Donalds Scottish Marilyns 610-761m and hills over 610m in Southern Scotland
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

Details of height changes to Scottish Marilyns under 600m are available in electronic form on request.

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 451 Corbett Tops with a drop of 30m-149m, giving a total of 670 Corbett Tops. Full details are available in TACit Tables.

Grahams and New Donalds

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). 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. The 224 current Grahams comprise the 222 Elsies listed in RHB plus Ladylea Hill (now 2001 feet) and Beinn Talaidh (now 2497 feet). The official list of Grahams is available in The Grahams and the New Donalds, published by TACit Press.


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 2002 there were 84 members, led by Ann Bowker who has climbed 1545 of the 1552 Marilyns: all except the St Kilda six and Mullach Buidhe in the Shiant Islands. Details of all members 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 from the author. A summary of the upper third of the Hall of Fame at the end of 2001 is shown below.

Ann Bowker 1545 Charles Knowles 1304 Gordon Adshead 1017 Bill Fairmaner 902
Rowland Bowker 1541 Don Smithies 1235 Gerry Knight 986 Peter Collins 900
Tony Payne 1527 Colin Donnelly 1137 Eddie Dealtry 972 Richard Webb 895
Ken Whyte 1463 Graham Illing 1078 John Crummett 967 Mary Cox 884
Rob Woodall 1419 Bert Barnett 1052 Hamish Brown 920 Roderick Manson 847
Andrew Allum 1357 Alan Dawson 1040 David Hoyle 919 Dave Hewitt 827
James Gordon 1331 Chris Upson 1028 Phil Cooper 912 Stuart Benn 822

Further Information

Update sheets, newsletters and the list of SubMarilyns are available online via
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