Monday, 30 December 2013

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Carneddau

24.12.13  Y Pincin (SH 723 581)

Y Pincin (SH 723 581)
As this hill was only recently elevated to the ranks of the Welsh 200m P30 list I thought it required its new status confirmed, so after visiting Dinas Mawr I drove westward and parked outside Joe Brown's in Capel Curig.  The hill is situated just north of Capel Curig and if being taking in on its own is no more than a ten – fifteen minute walk from the near-by road.  However, it can easily be combined with an extended walk over its near, higher neighbours to the north. 

The Trimble GeoXH gathering data on the area of the bwlch.

The Trimble beside the cobbled stone path that crosses the bwlch of Y Pincin.

The hill is well protected and gives an excellent summer’s scramble.  Today with the gale increasing in velocity and hail showers skimming across the landscape it only gave up its summit after an intricately weaved route to its highest point.  Thankfully an easier route down was found.

The high point consists of rock and has good views across to the peaks of Yr Wyddfa and Moel Siabod.  By the time I'd gathered data at the bwlch and stood on the summit the wind was whistling past and if not for a convenient edged notch, in which the Trimble sat comfortable with its internal antenna aligned to the highest point, the equipment may have ended up airborne.

The high point of Y Pincin.

The Trimble securely in place on the summit of Y Pincin.

After five minutes of data was gathered I quickly packed the Trimble away and headed back to the car, as I wanted to look at two hills close to Llyn y Dywarchen (SH 561 533) and Bwlchgylfin (SH 555 533) and investigate the long awaited mystery of the position of the critical bwlch for Mynydd Mawr (SH 539 546).

The view from the summit of Y Pincin, taking in the higher peaks of Eryri.

Survey Result:

Y Pincin

Summit Height:  263.5m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 72357 58126

Bwlch Height:  228.8m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 72410 58193

Drop:  34.7m (200m Twmpau status confirmed)

Dominance:  13.18%

For further details please consult the Trimble survey spreadsheet click {here}

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Mapping Mountains – Trimble Surveys – Mynydd Hiraethog

24.12.13  Dinas Mawr (SH 808 539), Gallt y Celyn (SH 811 542) and Gallt y Celyn (SH 810 544)

Dinas Mawr (SH 808 539)

One of the advantages of having the Trimble is being able to accurately survey hills such as the ones visited today.  With G&J Surveys prioritising English and Welsh marginal Marilyns and high prominence Sub-Marilyns, English and Welsh Nuttalls and continuing with our visits to Scotland, and with Alan Dawson concentrating on Scottish Marilyns, Sims and the occasional Hump, and with John Fitzgerald roaming around a multitude of Irish hills, it means that many parts of Wales and an occasional visit in to England with the Trimble can produce accurate data on hills that none of the above will visit.  Today was a prime example as I wanted to confirm the status of Dinas Mawr as it was originally listed as a Sub in the Welsh 200m P30 list, and was later promoted to P30 status through contour interpolation, this hill also has an adjacent P30 twin top, so I wanted to de-twin this hill as well.

The three summits are on open access land and are easily approached from a bridleway just above the A5.  The higher hills to the west and south were bathed under winter grey cloud, this heralded the heavy showers that were forecast and as I made my way through a gate toward the bwlch of Dinas Mawr the first of these hit me as a vicious hail shower.

The going under foot was problematical as small trees interspersed with bracken and copious amounts of bramble made for rather slow progress.  I assessed the point of the bwlch from various angles, chose my spot and gathered five minutes of data before heading up through the bracken and rock outcrops toward the summit of Dinas Mawr.

The top is crowned by a few quartz rocks and marks the highest point of a fine hill; I removed the quart cairn and set the Timble up to gather data.  I soon had to turn it off as the fierce wind was making it wobble, I re-started it after wedging a small quartz rock on the leeward side of the equipment.
The Trimble GeoHX on the summit of Dinas Mawr.

The route from this summit to the next proved torturous as I decided on a direct line that took me in to a forest of bramble.  After negotiating the slippery rock of a stone wall I headed up to the first of the 258m twin map height tops.  The high point consists of a long rock outcrop.

Looking back toward Dinas Mawr from Gallt y Celyn (SH 811 542).

By now more hail showers were massing and the next hit me as I was on the second 258m twin summit.  This consists of long grass on top of a large boulder.  The descent route was back on the inward track with the wind drying my clothes on the way.

The Trimble on the summit of the second of the 258m map heighted twin summits (SH 810 544)

Survey Result:

Dinas Mawr

Summit Height:  254.0m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 80884 53931

Bwlch Height:  220.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Bwlch Grid Reference:  SH 80984 53980

Summit Height:  257.6m (converted to OSGM15) 

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 81121 54259

Drop:  30.1m (converted to OSGM15) (200m Sub-Twmpau re-instated as 200m Twmpau after surveying the bwlch)

Dominance:  11.68%

Gallt y Celyn

Summit Height:  257.1m (converted to OSGM15)

Summit Grid Reference:  SH 81007 54476

Drop:  14m

Dominance:  5.45%

For the post detailing the bwlch survey of Gallt y Celyn please click {here}

For further details please consult the Trimble survey spreadsheet click {here}

Friday, 27 December 2013

English Hill Lists - The Fours - UKHillwalking Article

The Fours: A New English Hill List

The underfoot conditions of the Pennine moors can sometimes become a wet sponge-like trudge, and on one particular day earlier this year the rain and wind had turned the upper slopes of Meldon Hill into an unwelcoming landscape of bleakness.  However, we were there for a reason. Mark, a good hill-walking friend of mine and the editor of Europeaklist (, a website that specialises in the listing of European hills and mountains, was quickly approaching the completion of the English Hewitts.  We had also hoped to film an introductory promotional video to a new listing of Welsh 400m hills, known as ‘Y Pedwarau’, that was nearing publication.  On our descent, we sought shelter from the worsening weather in a rather forlorn looking barn, and upon completing the filming we approached the subject of an equivalent listing of English 400m hills.  I’m not too sure if it was the rush to get back to the welcome solace of the awaiting car at Cow Green Reservoir, but I was easily tempted by the prospect of this new English list that we had already named ‘The Fours’.  Little did I know that it would take over six months work by all involved until ‘The Fours’ was due to be published.

Also present on the ‘wet trudge’ up Meldon Hill was Aled Williams, who I’d been working with for a number of years on Welsh upland place-name research.  Aled had done a tremendous amount of work on ‘Y Pedwarau’ and was enthused to research the names of Celtic origin found in the Shropshire border-lands and in the south-west of England, where many of ‘The Fours’ are situated.  With me compiling the list, Aled assessing many of the names for appropriate use and composition, and Mark as both publisher and editor, we now set about this latest task.

Myrddyn Phillips: List Compiler

Over the last thirteen years or so I had compiled many hill lists, the majority of them being of hills in Wales.  I know the higher Welsh hills intimately having walked upon them many times.  However, I cannot lay the same claim toward the English hills, and because of this I felt I was at a disadvantage, as having actual knowledge of the land that is portrayed on a map can help in assessing the numerical qualification of each hill when hill-list compiling.

The qualification used to separate one hill from another is a minimum of 30m of drop; also referred to as ‘re-ascent’ or ‘prominence’.  This is the vertical height gain from the col to the summit.  This prominence qualification matched that used in the equivalent Welsh list, as well as that used in other established lists such as the English Hewitts (2,000ft as minimum height) and the English Deweys (500m minimum height). 

When compiling ‘Y Pedwarau’ we had realised that these 400m hills form the lower tier of the Welsh uplands, and this is also true for ‘The Fours’.  Therefore, anyone contemplating visiting all the upland hills of England will want to visit these 400m hills and join them up with their higher neighbours.  A full completion of these three listings would be a very considerable undertaking, but would give the person an intimate knowledge of all the upland areas of England. 
We’d already decided upon the self-explanatory title of ‘The Fours’ as it lists the 400m hills of England and compliments the translated version of its sister volume ‘Y Pedwarau’. The choice of title was easy, but the thought of scrutinising so many maps of a country that I did not know so well was somewhat daunting.  As the published booklet would list the hills from north to south, I began by studying the Cheviot hills.  It took time to develop a rigorous routine, but once a system was set in place where each and every ring contour between 390m – 499m was checked, I soon realised that, although the prospect of listing all these ‘Fours’ was indeed daunting, it was a task that was achievable.  However, I still couldn’t predict how long it would take.  The entire list proved quite an undertaking to compile, as there are 296 hills in the main list, with another 225 hills in three sub-lists.  With over 520 hills listed, this is the first comprehensive listing to English 400 hills that take in accompanying sub-hills.

Nowadays online mapping provides a wealth of Ordnance Survey height details, from some of the early 1:2,500 and 1:10,560 maps, through to the Popular and Seventh Series One-Inch maps, the Historical 1:25,000 maps and right up to the latest large-scale digital maps.  All were looked at and checked, with the older maps proving invaluable as they give many heights that were attained via levelling, which is a process more accurate than photogrammetry - responsible for the beige coloured spot heights on current Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 maps.  However, the map that proved the most valuable to study was the latest large-scale digital map where many spot heights are shown that do not appear on any other map.  Many times the study of these maps was like fitting a jigsaw puzzle together, and although the whole process was incredibly laborious, it was also very fulfilling.  The accuracy of the list is also enhanced from the surveys conducted for absolute height by G&J Surveys.  As a member of this surveying team I knew that the differential GPS equipment used is the best of its kind for height readings.

Although not knowing the land of ‘The Fours’ intimately, I had visited some of the hills.  Many of them can be excellent walks on their own, such as the ruggedness of The Tower (SK 141 914) and the shapely profile of Chrome Hill (SK 070 673) in the Peak District. Many of the ‘The Fours’ can be combined with higher neighbouring peaks in extended ridge walks, such as over the North York Moors, Malvern Hills and Exmoor.  All the major hill ranges in England are represented in ‘The Fours’, from the Cheviot hills and North York Moors in the north of England, down through the spine of the country taking in the Pennines, Lakes, Dales and Peak to the less frequented areas of the Shropshire uplands and lastly to Exmoor, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor in the south-west.

One aspect of ‘The Fours’ listing that is unique is the degree of place-name research that was conducted for many of the hill names.  This compliments the work done for its sister publication ‘Y Pedwarau’ This research was conducted by Aled Williams, and as I made progress down through England to the border areas of Shropshire I sent the list to Aled for him to assess names for appropriate use and composition.                                                  

Linghaw (SD 637 985) in the Howgill Fells.  Photo: Mark Trengove.

Aled Williams: Hill-Name Research

During the first half of 2013, I began work on analysing and compiling hill names for what would become ‘Y Pedwarau’.  I had been in collaboration with Myrddyn for a number of years, working on a project to record and document upland place-names in Wales.  To date, we have spoken to over 700 people who possess at least some intimate knowledge of an upland region.  This research has taken me to all corners of Wales and, most significantly for the focus of this article, to some of the English border counties.  It is hoped that the bulk of this work can be published in the future.

As my research focuses on the Welsh uplands, my role in the production of ‘The Fours’ was restricted to only certain areas of England, where names of a Celtic origin are to be found.  Subsequent to the publication of ‘Y Pedwarau’, I began to contact local people in Shropshire in an attempt to discover names for hills that were nameless on OS maps, or to confirm the status of names where map placement seemed dubious.  Examples of names recorded in ‘The Fours’ as a result of this research are: The Cold Piece (SO 338 996), Brow Hill (SO 363 956) and Bent Hill, which is an alternative local name for Heath Mynd (SO 335 940).  Some interesting composition variations were also encountered such as Cefn y Cwnthly for a hill recorded on the current OS maps as Cefn Gunthly (SO 331 948).  This emphasises the remarkable survival of some Welsh names in England.

Caer Caradoc Hill (SO 477 953) one of The Fours that are situated in Shropshire.  Photo: Mark Trengove.

The labour involved in sourcing and confirming hill names is considerable, and part of such research can also be achieved through the study of historical documents.  For ‘The Fours’, each hill that I investigated was analysed thoroughly and within the limits of the information available to me.  Crucially, names involving a degree of uncertainty in geographical placement were not used, and such hills were listed using the ‘Point (Height)’ notation, following the standard practice employed in European peak listing.  This meticulousness was also extended to the hill areas of the south-west of England, where research into old documents such as A Description of the Part of Devonshire Bordering on the Tamar and the Tavy’ by A. E. Bray (1836) confirmed the validity of names such as Swell Tor (SX 559 733).

Hill names represent snapshots of human interactions with the hills themselves, and describe the character or history of an eminence at a certain point in time or within a particular timescale.  Such riches are important to treasure and unique to ‘The Fours’ are names that have never been recorded on any document or map.  We hope that the hill-name details found within ‘The Fours’ will be of benefit. 

This attention to detail to both the numerical and names aspects of the list was encouraged by our editor, Mark, whose guidance Myrddyn and I followed throughout the publication process. 

Mark Trengove: Publisher and Editor

The listing of ‘Y Pedwarau’ proved a great success and, although we had decided to compile and publish its sister volume of ‘The Fours’ on that rather wild day on Meldon Hill, our enthusiasm for the publication was enhanced when people who had downloaded the Welsh list from the website had then asked us to publish the English equivalent. 

Chrome Hill (SK 070 673) in the Peak District.  Photo: Mark Trengove.

The publication of ‘The Fours’ will join a select number of listings of the hills of the British Isles that Europeaklist have published.  These include the ‘Majors’, the 600m prominence hills of Britain and Ireland, as well as a complimentary series of booklets to the ‘High Hills of the Irish Republic’ and the ‘High Hills of Wales’ and of course, the aforementioned ‘Y Pedwarau’.

The Europeaklist website has been in existence for over five years and, as the name of the website suggests, I specialise in listings of European mountains and hills.  These can be as diverse as hills in The Netherlands or The Baltic States to the alpine mountains of Austria, France and Germany.  However, I am always interested in listings of the British hills and, especially, for those that are based on a prominence criterion.  The Europeaklist philosophy is to produce quality listings that are free of charge to access and download. 

One aspect of this publication is the comprehensive notes section towards the end of the booklet, where over 330 separate comments can be cross referenced against the respective hill within the list.  Many of these notes refer to the height and drop of the hill, where the information came from old maps, or to the surveys conducted by G&J Surveys.  Aled’s hill-name research is also represented in the notes section, where sources and alternative names are briefly discussed. 

Interspersed throughout the booklet are photographs of some of the hills listed, and as Europeaklist self-publishes, we can update ‘The Fours’ with additional information when needed.

The English 400m hills, ”The Fours”, comprise wild, little frequented moorland that is mountainous in nature, and we know that for those accessing ‘The Fours’ booklet, the listing will take the hill-walker to some beautiful uplands in England. ‘The Fours’ booklet is available from Europeaklist.  It can be downloaded free of charge and is available as a print-booklet and e-booklet:
About the authors:

Myrddyn Phillips:

Myrddyn was employed in the printing industry with 15 years of experience, covering a spectrum of jobs.  He has over 25 years of hill-walking experience from scaling North Africa’s highest mountain to trekking in Nepal.  He’s completed the Welsh 3,000ft challenge in under 24 hours and has completed 16 rounds of the Welsh 2,000ft mountains, including an ascent of each mountain in each month of the year; still the only known Monthly Calendar Round of Hills ever achieved in the mountains of the British Isles.  He has surveyed over 420 hills in Wales, using a basic levelling technique, and is a member of the G&J Surveys team who use differential GPS surveying equipment to determine absolute height and drop of hills.  Examples include the recent demotion of Knight’s Peak on the Skye Cuillin from a Munro Top.  Myrddyn has a joy for Welsh upland place-name research and is an honorary life member of the Snowdonia Society.

Aled Williams:
Aled is a research scientist by profession and has a PhD in physical chemistry.  He has over 10 years of hill-walking experience and has completed a round of the Welsh 2,000ft mountains and subsidiary tops, and is currently almost three-quarters of the way to finishing the English equivalent.  He is also interested in natural history and especially enjoys studying the arctic-alpine flora of the Welsh mountains.  Aled is currently in the process of cataloguing the place names associated with the uplands of his native country.   The project represents a considerable undertaking and will take many years to complete.  Aled hopes that this research can be published in a series of books at some point in the future. 


Mark Trengove:

Mark is a civil servant specialising in tax.  Born near London, he has made Wales his home for over fifteen years.  He began hill-walking quite late in life (aged 39), and has now been heading for the hills for the last sixteen years.  Apart from his beloved Wales, he heads when he can to the Scottish Highlands, Southern Uplands, Lake District and Pennines.  He is also a keen mountain walker in the uplands of Poland.  A member of the Marilyn Hall of Fame and Welsh and English Hewitt completer, Mark is also the first known person to complete the Welsh Hewitts, Sub-Hewitts, Marilyns and Sub-Marilyns on the same day.  Apart from hill-walking and listing, Mark is a keen genealogist and enthusiast for music of the Baroque and Classical Periods.

‘The Fours’ is available as an e-booklet version and a print-booklet version with or without accompanying photographs on the Europeaklist website.  

'The Fours' is also available for GPS Waypoints, Google mapping and on-line hill bagging tick lists on the Haroldstreet website.

The Fours:


Double Sub-Fours:

Please click to see the original article published on the UKHillwalking website.

Monday, 23 December 2013

English Hill Lists - The Fours - Grough Article

Hill sleuth unveils new English peak baggers' tick list: the Fours

Myrddyn Phillips; hill list compiler

A hill walking fan and amateur surveyor is handing outdoor fans an early Christmas present: an online guide to a new set of peaks to tick off.
Myrddyn Phillips, one of three hill sleuths who regularly measure the heights of British mountains, has devised a set of almost 300 hills in England for peak baggers to tackle.
The Fours are the English version of Mr Phillips’s earlier Pedwar compilation in Wales.
He said the list of 400m hills should take walkers in England to new heights.
The challenge list is published in a downloadable and printable format online, free of charge.
Mr Phillips said: “This challenge is the Fours, a listing of English hills that comprise 296 summits taking in the length of the country, from the Cheviot Hills in the North to Bodmin Moor in the South-West.
“These English ‘Fours’ are spread across some of the wildest and most beautiful landscapes that England has to offer.’’
Caer Caradoc Hill (SO 477 953), part of the beauty of the Shropshire landscape.  Photo: Mark Trengove

The list, an updated version of one which first appeared on an online group in 2002, includes well-loved Lake District peaks Helm Crag and Cat Bells, includes hills between 400m and 500m in height, with a drop of at least 30m.
There are an additional 225 ‘subs’ which are between 390m and 399m or have between 20m and 29m of prominence.
Because mapping heights are considered only accurate to 10m, Mr Phillips said, these extra hills might qualify as Fours.
He said: “Over recent years, some of those completing the 2,000ft Hewitt mountains progress toward the Deweys.
“These are the 500m hills, first listed in published format by Michael Dewey. However, the uplands in Britain south of the Scottish border do not start at a height of 500m.
“There are many hill areas throughout England, Wales, the Isle of Man, and also Ireland where land at 400m or above comprises wild, little frequented moorland that is mountainous in nature.
“For those intrepid hill walkers who are nearing their completion of English Hewitts and Deweys, an extension to attempt a full completion of the English uplands would need to take in the Fours. 
Mark Trengove, Editor and Publisher at Europeaklist

“This would prove a considerable undertaking, but would leave the hill walker with an intimate knowledge of all the upland areas of England.”
The Fours list is available to print off, free of charge from the Europeaklist website. There is also an e-book version available.
Europeaklist website and the Fours editor Mark Trengove said: “The Europeaklist website has been in operation for a number of years.
“We specialise in listings of European hills and mountains from a variety of countries, but we also indulge ourselves in publishing some new British listings, so far not published elsewhere.’’
Aled Williams, place-name research

The Fours companion volume of Y Pedwarau benefited from the extensive place-name research undertaken by Aled Williams, and he has helped in this volume with extensive hill name research being conducted in the border country areas of Shropshire, where hill names of Welsh origin are found.
Mr Williams also extended this research to the South-West of England where careful scrutiny of old documents confirmed names of hills, for instance Swell Tor. This place-name research is continuing, with both Aled Williams and Myrddyn Phillips being part of the Hill Names in Wales Research team.
Mr Phillips regularly teams up with John Barnard and Graham Jackson of G&J Surveys in their expeditions to measure the heights of peaks. 
‘The Fours’ is available as an e-booklet version and a print-booklet version with or without accompanying photographs on the Europeaklist website.

'The Fours' is also available for GPS Waypoints, Google mapping and on-line hill bagging tick lists on the Haroldstreet website.

The Fours:


Double Sub-Fours:

Please click  to see the original article published on the Grough website. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

The Fours – Introduction

The only list taking in hills of England that I have compiled is detailed below.  However, it is hoped that others will be produced in the future.

The English 400m P30 list now known as ‘The Fours’ was part of a tripartite group of lists I compiled and made publicly available between 2000 - 2002.  The original list was named ‘The English 400m Peaks’ and was made available by Rob Woodall to the rhb Yahoo Group as part of a database version of 400m hills of England, Isle of Man and Wales  The remaining two listings of the tripartite were the Welsh and the Irish equivalent.  The former was published on Geoff Crowder’s ‘Backpacking in Britain’ website; as well as the aforementioned database version made available by Rob.  This listing to ‘The Welsh 400m Peaks’ is now known as ‘Y Pedwarau’ and has been fully updated and published by Europeaklist in May 2013.  ‘The Irish 400m Peaks’ listing was sent to the Irish Mountaineering Council (later to become Mountaineering Ireland) and was later published by the MountainViews website as ‘The Carns’.

The process of compiling ‘The English 400m Peaks’ and then having the list made available took on four stages.  Stage one consisted of a rough draft where after map study, the essentials of area, hill group, map number, height, name and grid reference were documented. 

Stage 1:  A sample page from the first rough draft which would eventually become the list of 'The English 400m Peaks'.

The next stage was to write these details out in a neater and more ordered way.  It was this version that was sent to Rob Woodall who made it available to the rhb Yahoo Group.  Both of these stages consisted of a P30 list and a P20 sub-list.  

Stage 2:  The details of each hill group was then neatly written out, it was this version that was sent to Rob Woodall, who then input the details on the rhb Yahoo Group file database.

The neater and more ordered version was later converted to a detailed hand written document that included a drop value, but still no National Grid Letters.  It was this third version that I maintained as the ‘Master List’ adding the drop value and any further inclusions.  

Stage 3:  Drop values and other detail was only added later.  This version became the Master List and was used for any updates.

Stage four was the published version on the rhb Yahoo Group.  The published version was then added to by data supplied by the late E. D. ‘Clem’ Clements.

Rob sent me a printed version of the file on the rhb Yahoo Group database.  Although Rob wasn't in receipt of 'T'he Irish 400m Peaks' list, its total is mentioned top right of photo.

It was the rhb Yahoo Group version of this list that formed the basis for this section of Mark Jackson’s ‘TuMPs’ list. The TuMPs stand for ‘Thirty & Upward Metre Prominences’ and contains the hills of Britain with 30m or more of relative height.  The TuMps list was a huge undertaking and took in work produced by many different people over several years; please see accompanying link for more details

The opportunity to fully re-evaluate the list now known as ‘The Fours’ came in to being in 2013 after Europeaklist had published ‘Y Pedwarau’.  The process of compiling this latest version was very different from its original, as nowadays there are a plethora of on-line maps available that can give old levelled heights, bench mark heights and spot heights that are not available on the 1:50,000 Landranger and the 1:25,000 Explorer paper maps produced by the Ordnance Survey.  All of the maps giving this extra detail were examined during the compilation of ‘The Fours’.

The process of compiling ‘The Fours’ and then having the list published by Eurpeaklist took on a number of stages, the first stage consisted of producing a detailed rough draft of all qualifying P30’s as well as all sub-hills. 

To produce the updated list known as 'The Fours' all available on-line maps were checked, and when combined with the Master List from its original inception of 'The English 400m Peaks', a detailed rough draft was produced that would form the basis for the next stage of typing the list and accompanying notes into a spreadsheet and Word document.

This and the ‘Master List’ from ‘The English 400m Peaks’ formed the basis for the next stage of compilation.  This next stage consisted of typing all data and accompanying Notes in to a Master Spreadsheet and Master Notes which is the standard template used by Mark Trengove, the Editor and Publisher at Europeaklist for such publications.  Once this stage was complete the Master Spreadsheet was sent to Aled Williams for place-name evaluation.

Aled Williams:  Place-name research.

"As work on the 'Y Pedwarau' booklet neared completion, it became apparent that a project involving the listing of equivalent hills in England would shortly commence. With this in mind, my continuing research concerning the upland place-names of Wales took a logical course towards the English border. Of course, hills are not restricted by the strict definitions of borders and boundaries, and the ridges of mountains such as Cilfaesty naturally extend into England. The hills found within the Clun Forest were once a part of Wales and over the centuries the English and Welsh languages have played a game of 'cat and mouse' with each other. This has resulted in a fascinating mix of language and culture, which is clearly emphasised by place names. One can hardly fail to notice odd-looking names to English hills such as Long Mynd, Heath Mynd, Cefn Gunthly, Caer Caradoc, Cwm Sanaham Hill, Bryn Hill or Hergan. Conversely, we have the Welsh hills of Long Mountain, Great Rhos, Tylcau Hill, Cnwch Bank or Lord Hereford's Knob.

During the summer of 2013 I began contacting local people in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Sir Faesyfed/Radnorshire in relation to the hill names found in these counties. At the same time I sifted through the majority of the published Ordnance Survey material, as well as other maps and historical documents, in order to build up a wealth of toponymic data. As Myrddyn completed the numerical backbone of the 'Fours' list, I then assessed each hill for an appropriate name. Many hills that were found to be nameless on the OS maps were provided with locally known names, such as The Cold Piece for the c400m hill at SO 338 996 or Stoney Pound Hill for the 437m hill at SO 234 808. In addition to this new information, details on alternative hill names were recorded within accompanying notes.

The hills of south-east England were also given tender loving care in terms of name selection, although no local research was invested in this case. Maps and documents were studied and sometimes this process resulted in names for seemingly nameless hills, for example, I was confident in assigning Swell Tor as the name to the c403m hill at SX 559 733 from descriptions found in the 1836 book 'A Description of the Part of Devonshire Bordering on the Tamar and the Tavy' by A.E. Bray. A name where uncertainty existed in geographical placement was not used and such hills are identified in 'The Fours' by the 'Pt. Height' notation; a system also adopted in the 'Y Pedwarau' booklet. This is important, as upon publication a list of hills becomes a historical document, and careless name assignment will result in much future confusion and distortion of the facts. Name compilation is not an easy task and one has to work within the confines of the information available."  

When Aled completed his place-name evaluation any required alteration was added in to the Master Spreadsheet and Master Notes.  Once completed this was sent to Mark, who now took over the process of converting the Master Spreadsheet and Master Notes to the final Europeaklist booklet ‘The Fours’.

A sample page from 'The Fours' booklet published by Europeaklist.

The listing of Fours comprise all the summits in England that are 400 metres or greater, but less than 500 metres in height, and which have at least 30 metres of drop.  There are 296 such hills with an additional 225 sub-hills also listed which are between 20m – 29m of drop and / or 390m and 399m of height.

‘The Fours’ is available as an e-booklet version and a print-booklet version with or without accompanying photographs on the Europeaklist website.  

'The Fours' is also available for GPS Waypoints, Google mapping and on-line hill bagging tick lists on the Haroldstreet website.

The Fours:


Double Sub-Fours: