Hartsop above How

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Hartsop above How
Hartsop above How - geograph.org.uk - 342174.jpg
Hartsop above How
Range: Lake District Eastern Fells
Summit: 1,870 feet NY383120
54°29’58"N, 2°57’15"W

Hartsop above How is a fell in Westmorland, amongst the Lake District's Eastern Fells, and considered an outlier of the Helvellyn Range. It stands above Brothers Water and the Ullswater to Ambleside road.

The name 'Hartsop above How' has wide support in guidebooks and on Ordnance Survey maps, although it is sometimes hyphenated. Wainwright though states that the local name for the fell is Gill Crag.[1]


Although properly the long northeast ridge of Hart Crag, Alfred Wainwright accorded Hartsop above How the status of a separate fell in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells'.

A three-mile ridge of high ground branches off northeast from the Fairfield horseshoe at Hart Crag. It turns gradually more northward, resembling a billhook in plan. To the north is Deepdale, a long curving valley with a marshy and rather dismal character. The southern boundary of Hartsop above How is formed by Dovedale, a picturesque valley of woodlands and waterfalls. Both dales meet the main valley of Kirkstone/Goldrill Beck which flows north through Patterdale to Ullswater.

Hartsop above How has a number of knolls along its length, the principal tops being above Gill Crag—the summit—and Gale Crag (1,679 feet). The ridge is generally grassy, but with considerable rock outcropping, particularly on the Deepdale side. The main faces here are Bleaberry Knott, Gale Crag, Holly Crag and Erne Nest Crag. Gill Crag, The Perch and Black Crag loom above Dovedale. A stone wall follows the crest almost as far as the summit, an aid to navigation were any needed on such a narrow ridge.

At the foot of the Dovedale face and continuing round above Brothers Water is Low Wood. This is an expanse of native woodland now rare in the District, primarily due to the introduction of sheep farming. Amidst the woodland are the remains of Hartsop Hall Mine. This was a lead mine operating at least as far back as the 17th century and closing in 1942. Four levels were driven northward into the fellside of Hartsop above How, but the production of ore was never outstanding.[2]


The summit carries a small cairn on grass. The view is good with the craggy heads of Deepdale and Dovedale in close-up.


The only practicable line of ascent for walkers is along the ridge, either from the end at Deepdale Bridge, or cutting up the southern side from Cow Bridge and Brothers Water. A good path follows the crest and continues across peaty ground toward the rocky top of Hart Crag.[3]


  1. Wainwright, Alfred: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book One — The Eastern Fells (1955)
  2. Adams, John: Mines of the Lake District Fells: Dalesman (1995) ISBN 0-85206-931-6
  3. Richards, Mark: Near Eastern Fells: Collins (2003) ISBN 0-00-711366-8