Marhofn 153.08 - May 2006

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The Vocative Hills of Britain

Alan Dawson

Amo amas amat, amamus amatis amant. How well I remember my first Latin lesson as a bewildered ten-year old at Calday Grange Grammar School for boys, with Froggy the Latin master from another world in his thick glasses and chalk-covered checked suit. I could handle strange new concepts such as participles and pluperfects, but the vocative case of 'mensa' had me puzzled - the textbook translated it as 'Tables Oh Tables', for those occasions when one wished to address a set of tables. Yet now, 43 years later, Eureka! I have found an application for that case.

Most of you will have spotted that this newsletter is by, with or from Marilyn baggers, yet some baglogs reveal all manner of extracurricular activity: Deweys, Nuttalls, Yeamans etc, while Rob Woodall inhabits his own separate universe of classification (one of the editors had to ask him for a translation). So, in the interests of edification and enlightenment, and as a reference for the perplexed, we present the table of tables. You don't have to be a member of Mensa to understand, but it might help.

The Provocative Table

Metres Class
Height Drop Scotland England and Wales
915+150+ Marilyn Munro  
915+ Undefined Munro / Munro Top Furth
915+30+ Murdo Hewitt
915+20-29 SubMurdo SubHewitt
762-914152+ Corbett Hewitt
762-91430+ Corbett Top (CT) Hewitt
762-91420-29 SubCT SubHewitt
610-761150+ Graham Hewitt
610-76130+ Graham Top (GT) Hewitt
610-76120-29 SubGT SubHewitt
610+15+   Nuttall
500-60930+ Woodall Dewey
500+20+ Kirk Kirk
300-49930+ Clem Clem (E) or Phillips (W)
150+150+ Marilyn Marilyn
140+140-149 SubMarilyn SubMarilyn
100+100ish+ Yeaman Clem Yeaman
100+100-149 New Yeaman New Yeaman
30-29930+   Clem (E) or Phillips (W)

Myrddyn Phillips

Myrddyn Phillips

Hills may qualify as Yeamans or Clem Yeamans by distance (5km) even if they do not have 100m drop, hence use of the term New Yeaman to eliminate this discrepancy. 2KP is a transatlantic concept (meaning '2000 feet of prominence'), as is the Fifty Finest (the fifty hills in any country or state with greatest prominence). Ireland has similar categories to England and Wales, apart from Nuttalls, Clem Yeamans and Clem/Phillips.

Local lists for local people

Area Height Drop Class
Southern Uplands610+30+ New Donald (now GT)
Southern Uplands500-60930+ Donald Dewey
Ochils300+30+ Fototop
Colonsay92+ Undefined McPhie
Scottish Islands30+10+ Allum
Lake District305+ Undefined Wainwright, Birkett etc
Isle of Man305+ Undefined Baxter

Over the years several people have produced lists of hills over 2000 feet in England and Wales, e.g. Bridge, Buxton and Lewis, Elmslie, Falkingham, Moss, Simpson, Wright etc. These are now mainly of historical or specialist interest.


Some hill categories overlap. For example, Blackhope Scar in the Moorfoot Hills is a Marilyn, a Yeaman, a Graham, a Graham Top, a Donald, a New Donald and a Council Top. In such cases hills can be thought of as suits. For many people, Grahams trump Marilyns, which trump Donalds, which trump Graham Tops, which trump Yeamans, which trump Council Tops. However, the rules and priorities vary according to which game one is playing.

Bounded and unbounded ranges

Corbetts, Grahams, CTs, GTs, SubCTs and SubGTs are all bounded ranges, i.e. they have an upper height limit. Murdos, SubMurdos, Hewitts, SubHewitts, Marilyns and Nuttalls are all unbounded, with no upper height limit. This means, for example, that all Grahams and Corbetts are also Marilyns. Deweys and Yeamans were published as unbounded, but in practice the names are used as bounded. For example, English and Welsh hills over 610m with 30m drop are usually called Hewitts, though they are also Deweys. Similarly, the term Yeamans is commonly used to mean 'Yeamans that are not Marilyns'.

Corbetts, CTMs, CTCs, GTMs, GTCs, GTGs

J. R. Corbett listed hills over 2500 feet in England as well as Scotland, but the term is now used to refer only to Scottish hills. All Corbetts are also Corbett Tops, and all Grahams are Graham Tops, but in practice the terms CT and GT refer to Tops that are not Corbetts or Grahams. Some Corbett Tops are nowhere near a Corbett. For example, A'Chioch on Mull is a lower top of Ben More, which is a Murdo not a Corbett. Such CTs are referred to as CTMs, while those connected to Corbetts are CTCs. Similarly, Graham Tops may be connected to Murdos, Corbetts or Grahams, hence GTM, GTC and GTG.

Mashups and Thousanders

Some people like to combine height and drop data to produce new categories, thereby opening up a whole new can of terms. Perhaps the most easily understood mashup set is Kirk's Thousanders, which comprises all the British hills where (height + drop) <=1000, though this still requires a drop qualification, otherwise every little boulder over 1000m would qualify. If drop <=20 then there are at least 804 Thousanders, if drop <=30 then there are 766, while if drop <=150 then there are 541. The set of 804 Thousanders comprises 398 Murdos, 38 SubMurdos, 197 Corbetts, 23 Corbett Tops, 76 Grahams, 61 Hewitts, and 11 Marilyns under 610 metres. Three Munros fail to make the set: Carn Sgulain (920m, 72m drop), Am Basteir (934/55) and Sgurr a'Mhadaidh (918/71). The lowest Thousander is Hill of Stake (522/489) in Renfrewshire, lowest in England is High Willhays (621/533) while Sugar Loaf (596/413) is the lowest in Wales.


The two most popular categories (Munros and Wainwrights) are undefined and therefore philosophically unsatisfactory to those who prefer rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty. Some categories, e.g. Marilyns, Yeamans, Woodalls, have had no completions at all. Leading categories by numbers of known completers, by about the end of 2005, are: Munros 3500, Wainwrights 394, Corbetts 276, Hewitts 154, Nuttalls 121, Grahams 40, SubMarilyns 3, CTs 2, GTs 1, Clem Yeamans 1.


Lists of Corbett Tops, Graham Tops and Hewitts are all available as TACit Tables, published by TACit Press. (The Murdos is out of print.) Deweys, Nuttalls and Yeamans have all been formally published, by Constable, Cicerone and Waifada respectively. Kirks and Allums have been self-published in ring-bound form. Clem Yeamans and Woodalls are available as spreadsheets, SubMarilyns as a Word document. Clems and Phillips are currently being partially digitised. Most datasets can be downloaded by registered members of the RHB Yahoo group, along with lists for some other countries, such as the Bardots (Marilyn Munros) and Brigittes (Marilyns) of France that Mark Trengove is compiling. See also and


Cogito ergo ticko.

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