Monday, 30 March 2015

The History of Welsh Hill Lists

The History of Welsh Hill Lists – Part 8

The Early Years

1950 – Arthur St George Walsh

During analysing the previous listings in this article two aspects became evident in how a list compiler defines a mountain.  The first is the minimum designated height - Corbett chose 2,500 feet, Parker 3,000 feet, whilst Carr and Lister and subsequently Ted Moss chose 2,000 feet.  The second aspect used in defining a mountain is its separation from adjacent ground - Carr and Lister attempted a classification based on a minimum of 100 feet of ascent from the mountains connecting col to any higher ground, this is sometimes referred to as the minimum re-ascent rule within the pages of this article, Corbett and Moss chose a definition depending upon a single ring contour at a 50 foot interval.  By choosing this 50 foot contour option their resulting lists were open to include inconsequential rises.  Moss’s quoted reference to the two Craig Berwyn tops sums up this problem, but by emphasising the chosen contour to be one of 50 foot they had taken the first step toward this designated height being used as a minimum re-ascent rule.  After Ted Moss’s 1940 publication another ten years were to pass before this criterion was eventually used in a published article.

The first person to use a minimum re-ascent criterion of 50 foot as a basis of a Welsh hill list and have his detailed findings published, is little known and almost lost in the annals of time.  His name is Arthur St. George Walsh.

Arthur St George Walsh, photo dated 1923 (photo courtesy of King's School, Chester)
Walsh was born on the 23rd April 1893, the middle part of his name given him because of the day of his birth, St. Georges day.  His father; John Leopold Walsh, was to become a bank manager at Alderley Edge, whilst his mother; Frances Eliza Crompton, continued to use her maiden name as the author of twenty nine children’s books.  His parents had seven children, with Eleanor Elizabeth, his sister, dying in infancy.  Walsh grew up the eldest amongst his remaining five brothers and sisters.

After leaving Stockport Grammar School he won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics.  This helped in giving him the grounding in methodical detail that was all too necessary in what Walsh was later to attempt.

When the First World War broke out, he was still studying at Cambridge.  Applying for a commission at Christmas time 1914, he was gazetted a 2nd lieutenant in the 15th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment on the 22nd March 1915. Walsh later became a Captain and served in the Middle East (photographs showing him climbing Mt Hermon and trekking through the Sinai desert still exist), France and finally the Dolomites. Walsh was transferred to the Dolomites from what was to become the slaughter of the Somme, something he believed saved his life, as well as providing him with good climbing experiences.

Having survived the war he analysed the fate of his closest friends.  Of twenty nine, six were still fit, seven were permanently disabled and sixteen, including his brother, Geoffrey Christian Lansdale, were dead.  He later reflected upon his wartime experiences: “While war is about heroism and sacrifice, it is also about carnage, waste and gross stupidity.”

After the war he resumed his education at Trinity Hall.  His first appointment after leaving college was as a schoolmaster teaching mathematics at Cambridge High School.  In 1925 he moved to Kings School, Chester, where his career as a Maths Master began.  One of his pupils during the late 1920’s was to form an integral part in the story of Mr Walsh and his hill list; the pupil’s name was Walter Slowing Matthews.  During this time Walsh and his brother Roger Crompton, or ‘Skip’ as he later became known, (Roger became the leader of his local Chelford Scout troop, hence the name Skip) were Top collecting with the aid of the late Victorian ‘Baddeley’s Guide to the English Lake District’.  Arthur and Roger then came upon Carr and Lister’s use of 100 foot rise as the main qualification for their list of 2,000 footers of Snowdonia.  Soon afterwards the Walsh brothers decided to make their own lists for England and Wales, using a 50 foot rise as part of their criteria.

Arthur St George Walsh, photo from the 1920s (photo courtesy of King's Scool, Chester)
Walsh’s original list probably materialised in the late 1920’s, certainly no later than the early 1930’s.  Thankfully Arthur Walsh hand wrote a copy of his and Roger’s hill list and gave it to Walter Matthews, as by this time Walsh was leading parties of King’s School pupils out to the hills.  These expeditions continued through the 1930’s.

With the outbreak of the Second World War hill expeditions were curtailed.  During this time Walsh found work, of a national importance with the Forestry Commission, outside of his teaching.  After the end of the war, Walsh’s hill walking parties resumed, mainly made up of ex-King’s School Chester men.  It was on one of these meets that a young schoolboy, Walter Matthews’s son, David, first met ‘Mr. Walsh’.  David although still very young could certainly not be described as ill experienced amongst the hills, as his father had led him up his first mountain, Rhinog Fawr, in July 1948 at the age of 3 years and 10 months.  It is David Matthews who, along with his father Walter, share responsibility for the survival of Arthur St. George Walsh’s hill list.

Within the 1950 edition of the Wayfarers’ Journal Walsh published a seven page article entitled The 2000-footers of England (and Wales).  He categorises the mountains within his list into three classes, and explains why; “The trouble of course is that often there is no means of determining whether the drop is more or less than 50 feet, short of taking a tame surveyor (plus instruments) around with one”.  In view of this Walsh devised his three classes, namely; ‘definitely 50 ft drop, marked with a tick √’, ‘doubtful, marked with a question mark ?’ and definitely not 50 ft drop, marked with an x’.  Walsh’s Welsh part of his list evolved over time from investigating all spot levels given on the Ordnance Survey one-inch Coloured Edition map which had contours at 250 foot intervals, all spot levels given on the Ordnance Survey one-inch Popular Edition map which had contours at 50 foot intervals, all points which seemed possible on the ground and all points given in Carr and Lister’s 1925 publication and Ted Moss’s list of 1940.

The front cover to the 1950 Wayfarers' Club Journal
For the purpose of convenience, Walsh splits all 2,000 foot country into three areas, these are; Lakes (including Isle of Man), Wales (including Black Mountains and Dartmoor) and Pennines (including the Cheviots).  Within the scope of this article I will refrain from the temptation of annexing Dartmoor on behalf of Wales and will proceed to quote all reference to Wales within Walsh’s article to the country of Wales and not Wales plus Dartmoor.

Walsh then splits each area into sections via dividing lines that represent railways or roads.  The third page of the article has a representative Welsh area within which is Walsh’s sections.  These are given letters from A-P, for example, section D’s boundary lines connect Caernarvon, Rhyd-ddu and Penygroes, Table 1 on the fifth page of the article has only one mountain listed in section D.  This is categorised in Walsh’s classes with a tick, the mountain in question is Mynydd Mawr which Walsh classifies as having definitely 50 foot drop, the process is repeated for each mountain in each section, it works remarkably easily.

The article continues with Walsh’s Table 1, which is a finished tabulation of numbers of mountains in each section and each class, a representation of this Table will follow shortly.  The article finishes with a further three Tables.  Table 2 details the Ordnance Survey and previous list data.  Table 3 shows Walsh’s detailed workings to the Pennine area; section H in the English part of his list.  Lastly Table 4, the ‘summary of 2,000 ft lists’, this itemises Walsh’s overall figures for his Lakes, Wales and Pennine areas.

A representation of the Welsh part of Walsh’s Table 1, which is a finished tabulation of numbers of mountains in each section and each class, follows.  The Table is as Walsh’s, except that for ease of reference I have included the title of each class and mountain group name for each section, these have been inserted between brackets to distinguish them from Walsh’s original Table, also included are Walsh’s totals from his list that he gave to Walter Matthews in the early 1930’s, again these have been inserted between brackets to distinguish them from Walsh’s 1950 numbers, the details concerning the early 1930’s list and its totals are explained after the Table.

The only part of Walsh’s list that has ever been published is the workings to his Section H, in the Pennine area, which was reproduced in his Table 3.  This is meticulously detailed and takes the reader through the process of how Walsh determined his six definitely 50 foot mountains and his eight definitely not 50 foot mountains for this particular section.  Although it is unknown if such thorough and detailed workings ever existed for each of Walsh’s sections, my suspicion is that they did, and that the tantalising details of his workings for the Pennine area, Section H, were not just produced for the benefit of his Wayfarers’ Journal article.  I suspect this was just a segment of his overall workings and was only published to show the reader how Walsh had arrived at his conclusions.

The 2000-footers of England and Wales.  Arthur's article in the 1950 Wayfarers' Club journal; page 31
The 2000-footers of England and Wales.  Arthur's article in the 1950 Wayfarers' Club Journal; pages 32 and 33
The 2000-footers of England and Wales.  Arthur's article in the 1950 Wayfarers' Club Journal; pages 34 and 35
The 2000-footers of England and Wales.  Arthur's article in the 1950 Wayfarers' Club Journal; pages 36 and 37

Although a few brief notes of Walsh’s on the ground findings are still in existence, it is one of the great tragedies of Welsh hill list history that the great majority of Arthur St. George Walsh’s detailed workings to his list no longer exist.  Extensive and exhaustive research has led me to believe that the only part of his actual list to survive is that which he hand wrote and gave to Walter Matthews in the early 1930’s.  This now exists only in typed format, something that Walter Matthews instigated in the early 1950’s.  The typed list is an exact copy of Walsh’s list of the early 1930’s.  The only other option for copies of Walsh’s list to still exist would be with other King’s School children who accompanied him on his many hill outings.

The details of his early 1930’s list are as follows.  The list is made up of twenty five A4 sheets of paper, with five sheets for the Pennines, nine sheets for Wales with the Lakes incorporating ten sheets and lastly the Isle of Man one sheet.  Each sheet is entitled “Mountains of England and Wales 2000+”.  Details include Walsh’s designated ‘section’ and the mountains incorporated within, with their ‘height’, if their top was assigned with a ‘cairn’ or not, ‘date’ of ascent and lastly space for ‘notes’.  Each of these appears in column format.  No Ordnance Survey or grid reference detail is given.

Therefore we have two sets of numbers, one from the early 1930’s and one from Walsh’s 1950 article.  This now leads us on to unpublished lists, of which Walsh’s is the first, but certainly not the last, that we will deal with within the context of this article, and there lies the problem. This article’s brief is to analyse hill lists in a chronological order.  The problem we face is when to date an unpublished list.  Published lists are obviously easy to date, as although many months, if not years of collation and work has gone into the list, the date is set by the publication date.  Whereas most unpublished hill lists evolve over time, Arthur St. George Walsh’s is no exception.  I have decided that as Walsh’s findings appeared in a published article it would be more appropriate if the early 1930’s list was analysed at the same time as his 1950 article.

Although many unpublished works are only updated when details concerning new heights on ever more detailed maps arise, Walsh’s list is one of the rare exceptions, as he, his brother Roger and a select few of the ex- King’s school participants of Walsh’s hill walking parties were surveying these mountains on the ground, attempting to ascertain if the designated bump did or did not have the required 50 foot of rise on all sides to be included in his ever developing list.  What are uncertain are the surveying techniques Walsh and his colleagues employed.  The probability is that they relied upon subjective on the spot judgment.  If so, accurate measurements were difficult to attain, but detailed analysis of their various promotions and demotions lead me to conclude that many were remarkably correct.  By relying not just upon map data but also on the spot surveying of hills, Walsh’s totals were ever changing, as can be seen in the forthcoming representation of Walsh’s Table 1.

Definitely 50ft.
(Definitely not 50ft)
Points               Investigated
A.   (Carneddau)
17               (17)
 7               (3) 
 9                   (0)
B     (Glyders)
  9              (10)
 4               (0) 
 2                (0)
C     (Snowdon)
  8              (  8)
 6               (0) 
 5                     (0)
D    (Mynydd Mawr)
   1              (  1)
 0              (0)
 0                     (0)
E     (Moelwyns – Manods)
  3              (  3)
 0              (0)
 1                     (0)
F     (Moelwyns-Moel Siabod, Moelwyn Mawr)
   8             (   9)
 1               (0)
 1                     (0)
G    (Moel Hebog & Nantlle Ridge)
   8             (   8)
 1               (1)
 1                     (1)
H    (Arenigs-Arenig Fach, Foel Goch,Carnedd & Filiast)
   4             (   4)
 3               (1)
 1                     (0)
I      (Arenigs-Arenig Fawr, Rhobell Fawr)
   7             (   7)
 3               (0)
 9                     (0)
J      (Rhinogs)
   7             (   8)
 4               (0)
 6                     (0)
K     (Berwyns & Hirnants)
 22             (19)
10              (4)
14                    (0)
L      (Cadair Idris, Dyfi’s, Tarrens & Arans)
 20             (20)
 8               (2)
15                    (0)
M    (Pumlumon)
   4             ( 4)
 4               (0)
 6                     (0)
N     (Black Mountains)
  12            (12)
 1               (1)
12                    (0)
0      (Central Wales & Cefn yr Ystrad)
    7            (  7)
 0              (0)
  4                    (0)
P      (Brecon Beacons, Fforest Fawr & Mynydd Du)
  17            (18)
 7               (2)
  6                    (0)
154           (155)
59            (14)
92                    (1)

With details of his early 1930’s list having been incorporated within the representation of his Table 1, comparisons between his three classes can now be made against the number of hills listed in his 1950 article:

Definitely 50 ft

The overall numbers in the definitely 50 foot class are remarkably similar between the 155 in the early 1930’s list and the 154 in Walsh’s 1950 article.  Eleven out of Walsh’s sixteen sections match exactly with only Section K – to the Berwyn mountains being out by more than one.  Between the list’s origination and its published 1950 tabulation Walsh had continued his on the spot surveys and therefore an occasional top would be promoted or demoted between the three classes.


Comparing the two sets of numbers in his doubtful class is different.  Whilst fifty nine are listed in his 1950 article, only fourteen received this classification in his early 1930’s list.  Seven of these are listed with one question mark ‘?’ after the mountain’s name, with six receiving two question marks ‘??’ following their respective name.  One other; Llechwedd Llyfn, which Walsh names Gylchedd S.W. has ‘(probably)’ inserted in brackets after its name, this mountain is in part of the Arennig, Walsh’s Section H.  I have taken this as being classified in his doubtful class but ‘probably’ awaiting promotion to his definitely 50 foot class.  My suspicion is that the fourteen hills given ‘doubtful’ classification in his early 1930’s list were either the only ones Walsh had visited and therefore recorded up until giving a handwritten list to Walter Matthews or that Walsh had by this stage visited the great majority of his doubtful classification and only fourteen were considered for possible promotion to his definitely 50 foot class.  I consider the former of these two options to be nearer the truth, as we know Walsh and his colleagues were still surveying mountains after his 1950 article had been published.

Definitely not 50ft

The two sets of numbers in the definitely not 50 foot class are vastly different, ninety two in his 1950 article and only one in his early 1930’s list, and even this one is slightly contentious.  The mountain in question is Y Garn, at the end of the Nantlle Ridge and in Walsh’s Section G.  The mountain’s name is in brackets and has ‘not a top’ typed after it.  Walter Matthews has added a handwritten question mark following the ‘not a top’, possibly inferring that the question mark was missed during the typing of the handwritten list.  It is slightly contentious on my part to include this mountain in this class as the lack of a typed question mark is probably a typographical error and the mountain considered as a doubtful.  But whilst analysing Walsh’s list I have endeavoured to be consistent, this is why I have strictly adhered to the typed list and included Y Garn in the definitely not 50 foot class in Walsh’s early 1930’s list.  The remaining ninety one in this class are not in his early 1930’s list as there was no reason to do so, as in Walsh’s opinion they had definitely not reached the 50 foot of rise on all sides needed for inclusion within his actual list.

There are no dramatic revelations of new found mountains in the Welsh part of his late 1920’s, early 1930’s list.  These would have to wait until the more detailed metric mapping of the mid 1980’s.  What the list does show us is how reliant a list compiler is upon the tools of their trade – these are the maps of the day.  The one-inch Ordnance Survey maps of Walsh’s day were renowned for occasional glaring inaccuracies.  Sometimes a mountain that was obviously there on the ground did not possess any ring contours on the map, and if the weather was inclement and the visibility obscured, the hill walker/peak bagger of the day would have no means of knowing that the continuing downward slope did in fact begin to rise quite dramatically only another quarter of a mile or so further on.  These glaring errors were all too frequent.  Examples of these can be seen in the forthcoming Table A.

Walsh relied upon the accuracy of the map as any other list compiler would.  Therefore mountains that we now know do not possess the 50 foot of rise on all sides required to enter his list, were included because the one-inch map had, in fact, given them two contour rings and, therefore, supposedly at least 50 foot of rise on all sides.  Examples of these can be seen in the forthcoming Table B.  Even some of these, in time, were queried on the ground as Walsh and, latterly, Walter Matthews worked their way through the mountains in the doubtful class.  Walter Matthews’s part in the progress of Walsh’s list will not be discussed just yet.  Although an integral part in the survival of the list and its developing changes, we will wait another twenty three years before discussing in detail Walter Matthews’s part in ‘Mr. Walsh’s’ list.

An excerpt from a letter from Arthur St George Walsh to Ted Moss (letter re-published courtesy of Richard Moss)

The likelihood is that Arthur St. George Walsh’s list is the earliest comprehensive listing to the 2,000 foot mountains of England and Wales and pre-dates Ted Moss’s workings to ‘The Two-Thousands of England (excluding the Lake District)’ and ‘The Two-Thousands of Wales’ by possibly four to seven years.  Moss’s two lists were published in 1939 and 1940 respectively.  With their respective pre-publishing workings probably taking place from the mid 1930’s onwards.  Because of this list’s historical significance and as it remains unpublished in its entirety and, therefore, not in the public domain, it is worthwhile detailing in depth two aspects of its Welsh content.

Table A

Mountains that have at least 30 metres rise from their connecting col to the next higher ground but are not included in Arthur St. George Walsh’s Welsh part of his late 1920’s, early 1930’s list.

(In List)
(In List)
One Inch Map Details
Garnedd Uchaf
A.St.J.included 2??
No.107. 1947 Edition 1 Ring Contour.
   687 669
Carnedd Uchaf

Not in List
Not mentioned by A.St.G.
No.117. 1963 Edition. 1 Ring Contour
   072 324
Craig Berwyn
E of Nant y Sarn
Included by W.S.M
.A.St.G. included 1?
No.117. 1963 Edition. 6 Ring Contours
   996 314
Foel Cwm Sarn Llwyd
1m NNE of F.Y.Geifr
W.S.M. crosses out
No.117.1963 Edition. 2 Ring Contours.
   943 291
Foel Goch
A.St.G.included Two??
No.116.1947 Edition. 1 Ring Contour
Cadair Idris
   704 134
Gau Craig
A.St.G includes Two??
No.116.1947 Edition. 1 Ring Contour
Cadair Idris
   744 141
Gau Graig

Not in List
No.117.1963 Edition.0 Ring Contours
   890 236
Esgeiriau Gwynion

Not in List
No.116.1947 Edition.0 Ring Contours
   818 179
Pen y Brynfforchog

Not mentioned by A.St.G/

Craig Cwm Dergwm N
Included by W.S.M.
No.141.1952 Edition. 1 Ring Contour
Brecon Beacons
   037 207
Fan y Big

Table B

Tops that do not have the required 50 foot rise on all sides but are included in Arthur St. George Walsh’s Welsh part of his late 1920’s, early 1930’s list.

(In List)
(in List)
One Inch Map Details
Mountain Group
Grid Reference
Not given
No.116.1947 Edition. 2 Ring Contours
829     373
Moel Llechwedd
Pen y Boncyn Trefilw W
Not given
No.117.1963 Edition. 2 Ring Contours
952     281
Pen y Cerrig Duon
Not given
No.117. 1963 Edition. 2 Ring Contours
084     307
Moel Poethion
Superceded by
(W of Bwlch Fign)
No.116.1947 Edition.  2 Ring Contours
816     183
Pen y Brynfforchog
E.Ridge(Lge Peat Plateau)
No.141.1952 Edition.  2 Ring Contours
Black Mountains
278     311
Pen y Garn Fawr
Waen Rhydd S
No.141.1952 Edition.  1 Ring Contour
Brecon Beacons
065     202
Waen Rydd Sth Top
No.141.1952 Edition.  2 Ring Contours
Brecon Beacons
005     206


Table A would lead us to conclude that Walsh had overlooked nine prime candidates for inclusion.  This he did, but on closer inspection all save one have a valid reason for being overlooked.  Carnedd Uchaf, Cyfrwy and Gau Graig all possessed only one continuous uppermost contour ring on the old one-inch map.  Each of these three peaks was listed with two question marks ?? following their name.  This probably means that Walsh initially listed these in his doubtful class but considered them as very strong candidates for promotion to his definitely 50 foot class.  Throughout the list only six peaks are given two question marks ?? after their name.  The three remaining peaks not listed in Table A are: Rhos, which Walsh calls Rhos W, Bryn Gwyn which he lists as WNW of Post Gwyn and lastly Corn Du.  The first and second peaks are in the Berwyn whilst Corn Du is in the Brecon Beacons.  The two Berwyn peaks have handwritten notes made by Walter Matthews saying they are; ‘almost certainly not’ and ‘not a top’ respectively, whereas Corn Du is treated the same as the three peaks in Table A; the question marks remain unaltered and no adjoining notes are made.  This implies that upon inspection Walsh and Walter Matthews had accepted these four peaks; Carnedd Uchaf, Cyfrwy, Gau Graig and Corn Du, into the main part of the list, whilst Rhos and Bryn Gwyn remained outside of the definitely 50 foot class.

Two mountains within Table A do not possess any ring contours on the one-inch map, both are in the Aran.  The first we will deal with is Esgeiriau Gwynion.  This mountain has Foel Rhudd as a close neighbour, but overshadows this peak by a significant twelve metres (39 feet).  Walsh tantalisingly lists Foel Rhudd as Foel Rhudd NE, inferring he knew another peak existed to the South-west, but no mention of it was made.  The second peak within Table A that possessed no contour rings is Pen y Brynfforchog, the maps of the day gave a spot height of 2,149 feet, this Walsh lists as – (W. of Bwlch Fign).  This point is now spot heighted as 656 m and is over 0.5 kilometres from the true summit of Pen y Brynfforchog which is another 29 m (95 feet) higher.  Another top of note but not listed in Table A is Cefn Gwyntog in the Berwyn.  Again this mountain received no contour rings on the one-inch map, the only point of reference being over one kilometer away to the North, this Walsh lists quite rightfully with a question mark and calls E. of Py B.T., the name given by Walsh refers to Pen y Boncyn Trefeilw which is a near top to the West.

Three of the nine mountains in Table A are not mentioned at all by either Walsh or Walter Matthews – Esgeiriau Gwynion and Pen y Brynfforchog being two, the third is the highest point of the Berwyn.  This peak was first listed by John Rooke Corbett in 1929 and named Cader Berwyn, S.Top.  Recent local enquiries conducted by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams in the vicinity to the west and east of this mountain suggest that the name of Craig Berwyn is the favoured local name for this peak.  This particular peak was an obvious candidate for inclusion but probably overlooked due to it only having one ring contour on the one-inch map, an understandable oversight on Walsh’s part. 

Another peak only assigned a single ring contour on the one-inch map and missing from the list given to Walter Matthews is Fan y Big, in the Brecon Beacons.  Walsh’s initial oversight was soon rectified by its later inclusion by Matthews who called this top Craig Cwm Oergwm N.

Now on to two peaks in the southern Berwyn, the first of which is Foel Goch, this is listed by Walsh as Im. NNE of F.y.Geifr, this name refers to Foel y Geifr which is to the South.  This is rather a contentious inclusion within Table A on my part as a typed question mark follows the mountain’s name.  The question mark then received a crossing out by Walter Matthews, probably inferring that this top was included within the initial definitely 50 foot class and the typing of the question mark a mistake, rectified by Walter Matthews’s crossing out.  As mentioned before (in the case of Y Garn on the Nantlle Ridge) whilst analysing Walsh’s comparable numbers in his definitely not 50 foot class, I have endeavoured to be consistent and therefore have strictly adhered to the typed part of Walsh’s list.

Lastly we come to Foel Cwm Sarn Llwyd which possessed six continuous uppermost contour rings on the one-inch map but was not included within the typed part of the list, suggesting it was missed by Walsh in the list’s initial compilation.  If this was so it was a glaring oversight but one which was soon rectified as it was later added by Walter Matthews under the name E. of Nant y Sarn.

Table B is somewhat different as seven peaks are listed by Walsh that with more detailed mapping we now know do not fulfill the specified criteria of having 50 foot rise on all sides.  Six out of these were allocated two ring contours on the one-inch map and, therefore, supposedly a minimum of 50 foot of re-ascent.  The seventh peak we will deal with is listed by Walsh as Waen Rhydd S, this is towards the eastern end of the Brecon Beacons ridge and was only allotted one small ring contour and a spot height of 2,502 ft on the one-inch map.  This point only has an approximate 15 ft of rise from its connecting col to the higher Waun Rydd, which Walsh calls Waen Rhydd N, of which the Ordnance Survey gave a height of 2,504 ft on the one-inch map.  It is quite incredulous that Waen Rhydd S has been included and seemingly wasn’t demoted by either Walsh or Matthews.

With sixteen peaks listed in the two Tables, Waen Rhydd S is the only one from the Welsh part of his late 1920’s, early 1930’s list that lacks an obvious explanation.  All others, with the provision of Walter Matthews’s later updates, have a valid reason for either being excluded or included.  One out of 164 (155 in the typed list and nine from Table A) isn’t that bad as most list compilers find at least one unexplainable oversight occurs in the collation of any hill list.

It is probably correct to say that Walsh’s list is the earliest comprehensive list to the 2,000 foot mountains of England and Wales.  The list is little known and in its own right quite extraordinary as it is the first to use 50 foot as the designated minimum re-ascent value, something that up until the present day is regarded by many people as the accepted re-ascent value for a mountain in Wales.  Walsh was revolutionary in his use of a thorough and systematic, although perhaps subjective, approach to surveying hills on the ground.  It is easily one of the most important Welsh hill list’s that has ever been produced and yet the actual list has never been published.  Although the list survives, it is somewhat perturbing to think that the great majority of Walsh’s detailed workings are now lost, as what we have is a list that is literally decades ahead of its time, as Walsh’s late 1920’s, early 1930’s list will not be matched in its use of a simplified yet thoroughly checked-out criteria for almost another sixty years.  The thought that the detailed workings to the list are now lost and the name of Arthur St. George Walsh is almost forgotten, is lamentable.  The man and the list deserve much more recognition.

Next instalment due on the 30th May 2015

For the Preface please click {here}

For Part 1 please click {here}

For Part 2 please click {here}

For Part 3 please click {here}

For Part 4 please click {here}

For Part 5 please click {here}

For Part 6 please click {here}

For Part 7 please click {here}