Saturday, 1 July 2000

Carrock Fell

Carrock Fell seen from Murrah
Height: 663m (2,175ft)
Prominence: 91m (299ft)
Region: Northern Fells
Classifications: Hewitt, Nuttall, Wainwright, Birkett
Summit feature: Small cairn on rock outcrop
Times climbed: 1
Related trip report:
Carrock Fell, High Pike & Knott - 13/02/2016
Carrock Fell's summit cairn
What Wainwright said:

"This rough little height is, first and foremost, a very rich geological field, for here the extensive area of Skiddaw slates and shales, abruptly terminates against a rugged upthrust of igneous or volcanic rocks. Carrock Fell is something of a rebel, a nonconformist, the odd man out - it would look more at home at the head of Borrowdale or Langdale amongst others of like kind".

Carrock Fell is situated in the northern region of the Lake District. The fell's name means "Rock Fell", from the Cumbric carrec, meaning a rock, and Old Norse fjall, meaning a fell.

Carrock Fell’s geology is unique in the Lake District in that it is predominantly composed of Gabbro, a rough igneous rock that also makes up the famous Black Cuillin on the Isle of Skye. Gabbro is an excellent rock for climbers and Carrock Fell offers the only rock climbing of quality in the northern fells.

The fell is rich in mineral ores and has been mined extensively for many centuries with tungsten, lead, arsenic and iron all being extracted from the fell. The most famous mine on the fell was the Carrock Mine, the only source of tungsten in Britain outside of Devon and Cornwall. The mine closed in the early 1980s and in 1988 the site was bulldozed and landscaped to its original outline.

Carrock Fell is also the site of an Iron Age hill fort which crowns the summit. Only the foundations of the walls remain. The fort is oval shaped and is believed to have been built by the Celts and destroyed by the Romans in their conquest of northern England.

Return to Lake District – Northern Fells