Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Mapping Mountains – Significant Name Changes – The Fours


Pt. 424m (NY 424 233)

There has been a Significant Name Change to a hill that is listed in The Fours, with this being announced when the 2nd edition of The Fours was published by Mapping Mountains Publications on the 24th April 2018.

The criteria for the list that this name change applies to are:

The Fours – English hills at and above 400m and below 500m in height that have 30m minimum drop. 

The list is co-authored by Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams, with the 1st edition of the list having been published by Europeaklist in December 2013 and by Haroldstreet in January 2014, with the 2nd edition of the list published by Mapping Mountains Publications and by Haroldstreet on the 24th April 2018.

The hill is situated in the Eastern Fells of the Lake District and is placed in Region 34, Section 34C with its Cardinal Hill being Helvellyn (NY 342 151).  The hill is positioned between the A 5091 road to its west and the A 592 road to its east and has a minor road directly to its north, and has the small community of Watermillock towards the east south-east.

When the listing that is now known as The Fours was originally compiled this hill appeared under the name of Underwood, this was also the name it appeared as when the list was uploaded to the RHB Yahoo group file database.  Subsequently the hill was listed as Watermillock Fell in the 1st edition of The Fours when the list was published by Europeaklist in December 2013. 

Hill list authors are prone to list a hill by the name that appears nearest to its summit on contemporary Ordnance Survey maps, without much consideration for its local or historical confirmation, or whether map placement is appropriate, and in the case of this hill the name of Underwood has been consistently applied to a feature or a house to the east of the hill.  This form of supplanting a name is not a practice that is now advocated as with time and inclination place-name data can be improved either by asking local people or by examining historical documents, through this form of research an appropriate name for the hill can usually be found.

Extract from the Ordnance Survey series of Six-Inch maps

Extract from the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map

Prior to publication of the 2nd edition of The Fours enquiries were made with two well-known Lake District guide book authors, resulting in this hill being described as ‘nameless’, and the advice that ‘one would need to talk to genuine locals and shepherds to give definitive answers’. 

Therefore, the name this hill is now listed by in The Fours is Pt. 424m and this follows the standard practice of using the point notation for hill’s whose name has not been substantiated by the authors either through local enquiry, contemporary maps or from historical documentation.  


The full details for the hill are:

Group:  Helvellyn

Name:  Pt. 424m

Previously Listed Name:  Watermillock Fell 

Summit Height:  424m

OS 1:50,000 map:  90

Summit Grid Reference:  NY 42459 23318  

Drop:  39m


Myrddyn Phillips and Aled Williams (May 2018)







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