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Bakestall and Dead Crags from Great Cockup.jpg
Bakestall and Dead Crags from Great Cockup
Range: Lake District Northern Fells
Summit: 2,208 feet NY266307
54°39’58"N, 3°8’22"W

Bakestall is a fell in Cumberland, in the Lake District, standing four miles north of Keswick in the quieter, even secluded part of the Northern Fells known as "Back o' Skiddaw".


Close up of Dead Crags from Birkett Edge

Bakestall reaches a height of 2,208 feet at its summit. Strictly speaking Bakestall may not be considered a separate fell but a top on the northern slopes of mighty Skiddaw: Alfred Wainwright though gave Bakestall a separate chapter in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells because of the impressive Dead Crags which fall beneath the summit and the fine waterfall, Whitewater Dash, at the fell's foot. Bakestall was not even named on the old Ordnance Survey one inch map for many years, a situation now rectified, perhaps because of Wainwright's drawing attention to it.

Dead Crags are composed of Skiddaw Slate and drop 500 feet down into the corrie on the northern side of the fell. The crags do not attract rock climbers because of the crumbly nature of the slate, the crag has much vegetation growing within it.

Whitewater Dash is highly rated as one of the finest falls in Lakeland as Dash Beck descends in a series of cataracts: were it situated in a more accessible part of the Lake District it would be a major attraction.

Bakestall had a lead mine on its slopes many years ago, the adit is situated at the side of Dead Beck on the western periphery of the fell.

All drainage from Bakestall goes north to join Dash Beck and then to Bassenthwaite Lake.


Bakestall can be climbed as part of the less crowded northern approach to Skiddaw using the rough track to Skiddaw House as far as Whitewater Dash falls and then ascending Birkett Edge to reach the summit. A fence can be followed up Birkett Edge although walking at the side of the corrie edge gives an opportunity to examine the crags. From the summit of Bakestall it is a two kilometre walk south west and then south with 900 feet of ascent to reach the summit of Skiddaw.


The summit of the fell is at a turn in the fence, although Wainwright had his top of the fell 100 yards further north, which is a better view point and is marked by a fair sized cairn, unusual in the grassy northern fells. The view from the top of fell is severely curtailed by the bulk of Skiddaw to the south and there is no view of the main part of Lakeland, however it is possible to view the Solway Firth and the Galloway hills.


  • Wainwright, Alfred: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book Five — The Northern Fells (1962)