Saturday, 1 July 2000

Great Mell Fell

Great Mell Fell
Height: 537m (1,762ft)
Prominence: 198m (650ft)
Region: Eastern Fells
Classifications: Wainwright, Marilyn, Birkett
Summit feature: Tumulus and small cairn
Times climbed: 1
Related trip report:
The Mell Fells & Gowbarrow Fell - 13/01/2015
The summit view towards Blencathra and the Vale of Keswick
What Wainwright said:

"Great Mell Fell rises sharley from a wide expanse of desolate marshland to the north and west, territory not at all typical of Lakeland, the fell itself is much more fertile and colourful than its surroundings".

Great Mell Fell is an isolated hill north of Ullswater and adjacent to the Eastern Fells. The fell was once well wooded, and retains a good covering of trees on the lower slopes, as well as scattered larches and pines higher up.

Mell Fell is found in the earlier form Melfel (1279) and is probably derived from the Brittonic (Cumbric) word męl (c.f. Welsh moel), a bare hill, with Fell as a later addition. The two Mell Fells have been distinguished as Great and Little since at least the fifteenth century.<br />

There is a disused rifle range to the north-west of the fell. The target control building may still be seen. This was in use by the War Department (now the Ministry of Defence) during the war years and into the 1950s. As a result, access to the whole fell was prohibited at the time by red danger signs.

The summit is crowned by a low mound, marked as a tumulus on the Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 map. This is probably a small Bronze Age burial mound. A small cairn has been built on top of it. The isolated position of the fell makes it a splendid viewpoint. Blencathra and the Dodds.

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