Pennines

The Pennines (/ˈpɛnaɪnz/), also known as the Pennine Chain or Pennine Hills,[1] are a range of mountains and hills in England separating North West England from Yorkshire and North East England.

Often described as the "backbone of England",[2][3][4] the Pennine Hills form a more-or-less continuous range in most of Northern England. The range stretches northwards from the Peak District in the northern Midlands, through the South Pennines, Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines up to the Tyne Gap, which separates the range from the Cheviot Hills. Some definitions of the Pennines also include the Cheviot Hills across the Anglo-Scottish border while excluding the southern Peak District. South of the Aire Gap is a western spur into east Lancashire, comprising the Rossendale Fells, West Pennine Moors[5] and the Bowland Fells in North Lancashire.[6] The Howgill Fells[7] and Orton Fells[8] in Cumbria are sometimes considered to be Pennine spurs to the west of the range. The Pennines are an important water catchment area with numerous reservoirs in the head streams of the river valleys.

The region is widely considered to be one of the most scenic areas of the United Kingdom.[9] The North Pennines and Nidderdale are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) within the range, as are Bowland and Pendle Hill.[10] Parts of the Pennines are incorporated into the Peak District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.[11] Britain's oldest long-distance footpath, the Pennine Way, runs along most of the Pennine Chain and is 268 miles (429 km) long.[12]

Pennines location map
Northern England and adjoining areas, showing the general extent of the Pennines
Clougha heather
Scenery in the Forest of Bowland

Name

Various etymologies have been proposed treating "Pennine" as though it were a native Brittonic/Modern Welsh name related to pen- ("head") .[14] It did not become a common name until the 18th century and almost certainly derives from modern comparisons with the Apennine Mountains, which run down the middle of Italy in a similar fashion.[13]

Following an 1853 article by Arthur Hussey,[15] it has become a common belief that the name derives from a passage in The Description of Britain (Latin: De Situ Britanniæ),[17] an infamous historical forgery concocted by Charles Bertram in the 1740s and accepted as genuine until the 1840s. In 2004, George Redmonds reassessed this, finding that numerous respected writers passed over the origin of the mountains' name in silence even in works dedicated to the topological etymology of Derbyshire and Lancashire.[13] He found that the derivation from Bertram was widely believed and considered uncomfortable.[13] In fact, he found repeated comparisons going back at least as early as Camden,[18] many of whose placenames and ideas Bertram incorporated into his work. Bertram was responsible (at most) with popularizing the name against other contenders such as Daniel Defoe's "English Andes".[13] His own form of the name was the "Pennine Alps" (Alpes Peninos), which today is used for a western section of the continental Alps. Those mountains (the area around the St. Bernard Pass) derive their name from the Latin Alpes Pœninæ whose name has been variously derived from the Carthaginians,[19] a local god,[20] and Celtic peninus.[21] The St. Bernard Pass was the pass used in the invasions of Italy by the Gallic Boii and Lingones in 390 BC. The etymology of the Apennines themselves—whose name first referred to their northern extremity and then later spread southward—is also disputed but is usually taken to derive from some form of Celtic pen or ben ("mountain, head").[22][23][24][25]

Various towns and geographical features within the Pennines retain Celtic names, including Penrith, the fell Pen-y-ghent, the River Eden, and the area of Cumbria. More commonly, local names result from later Anglo-Saxon and Norse settlements. In Yorkshire and Cumbria, many words of Norse origin, not commonly used in standard English, are part of everyday speech: for example, gill/ghyll (narrow steep valley), beck (brook or stream), fell (hill), and dale (valley).[26]

Geography

Croasdale Bowland
Croasdale Fell, Forest of Bowland.

The northern Pennine range is bordered by the foothills of the Lake District, and uplands of the Howgill Fells, Orton Fells and Cheviot Hills. The West Pennine Moors, Rossendale Valley[5] and Forest of Bowland[6] are western spurs of the range, the former two of which are included as part of the South Pennines. The Howgill Fells[7] and Orton Fells[8] are sometimes considered to be part of the Pennines, with both of them lying inside the Yorkshire Dales National Park.[27] The Pennines are fringed by extensive lowlands including the Eden Valley, West Lancashire Coastal Plain, Cheshire Plain, Vale of York, and the Midland Plains.

Most of the Pennine landscape is characterised by upland areas of high moorland indented by more fertile river valleys, although the landscape varies in different areas. The Peak District consists of hilly plateaus, uplands and valleys, divided into the Dark Peak with moorlands and gritstone edges, and the White Peak with limestone gorges.[28] The South Pennines is an area of hilly landscape and moorlands with narrow valleys between the Peak District, Forest of Bowland and Yorkshire Dales.[29] Bowland is dominated by a central upland landform of deeply incised gritstone fells covered with tracts of heather-covered peat moorland, blanket bog and steep-sided wooded valleys linking the upland and lowland landscapes.[30] The landscape is higher and more mountainous in the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines. The Yorkshire Dales are characterised by moorlands, valleys, hills, fells and mountains[31] while the North Pennines consist of high upland plateaus, moorlands, fells, edges and valleys with most of the area containing flat topped hills while the higher peaks are in the western half.

Although the Pennines mostly cover the area between the Tyne Gap and the Peak District, the presence of the Pennine Way affects the northern and southern extents of the defined area. The Cheviot Hills, separated by the Tyne Gap and the Whin Sill, along which run the A69 and Hadrian's Wall, are not part of the Pennines but, perhaps because the Pennine Way crosses them, they are often treated as such. As a result, the northern end of the Pennines may be considered to be either at the Tyne Gap or the Cheviot Hills across the Anglo-Scottish border. Conversely the southern end of the Pennines is commonly said to be in the High Peak of Derbyshire at Edale, the start of the Pennine Way, excluding the southern Peak District. However, the range and its foothills continue across the Peak District as far south as Stoke-on-Trent in northern Staffordshire[32] and Derby in southern Derbyshire.[33]

Elevation

Rising less than 3,000 feet (900 m), the Pennines are often referred to as fells, with the majority of mountainous terrain in the north. The highest is Cross Fell in eastern Cumbria, at 2,930 feet (893 m), while other principal peaks at the North Pennines include Great Dun Fell 2,782 ft (848 m), Mickle Fell 2,585 ft (788 m), and Burnhope Seat 2,451 ft (747 m). Principal peaks at the Yorkshire Dales include Whernside 2,415 ft (736 m), Ingleborough 2,372 ft (723 m), High Seat 2,328 ft (710 m), Wild Boar Fell 2,324 ft (708 m) and Pen-y-ghent 2,274 ft (693 m). Principal peaks at the Forest of Bowland include Ward's Stone 1,841 ft (561 m), Fair Snape Fell 1,710 ft (521 m), and Hawthornthwaite Fell 1,572 ft (479 m). Although terrain is lower towards the south, principal peaks at the South Pennines and Peak District include Kinder Scout 2,087 ft (636 m), Bleaklow 2,077 ft (633 m), Black Chew Head 1,778 ft (542 m), Rombalds Moor 1,319 ft (402 m) and Winter Hill 1,496 ft (456 m).

Drainage

Kinder Downfall in spate
Kinder Downfall, a waterfall on Kinder Scout, Dark Peak

For much of their length the Pennines form the main watershed in northern England, dividing east and west. The rivers Eden, Ribble, Dane and tributaries of the Mersey (including the Irwell, Tame and Goyt) flow westwards towards the Irish Sea. On the eastern side of the watershed, the rivers Tyne, Tees, Wear, Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, Aire, Calder and Don rise in the region and flow eastwards to the North Sea. The River Trent, however, rises on the western side of the Pennines before flowing around the southern end of the range and up the eastern side; together with its tributaries (principally the Dove and Derwent) it thus drains both east and west sides of the southern end to the North Sea.

Climate

The Pennine climate is generally temperate like that of the rest of England, but the hills have more precipitation, stronger winds and colder weather than the surrounding areas. Higher elevations have a tundra climate. More snow falls on the Pennines than on surrounding lowland areas due to the elevation and distance from the coast; unlike lowland areas of England, the Pennines can have quite severe winters.

The northwest is amongst the wettest regions of England and much of the rain falls on the Pennines. The eastern side is drier than the west—the rain shadow shields northeast England from rainfall that would otherwise fall there.

Precipitation is important for the area's biodiversity and human population. Many towns and cities are located along rivers flowing from the hills and in northwest England the lack of natural aquifers is compensated for by reservoirs.

Water has carved out gorges, caves and limestone landscapes in the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District. In some areas precipitation has contributed to poor soils, resulting in part in moorland landscapes that characterize much of the range. In other areas where the soil has not been degraded, it has resulted in lush vegetation.

For the purpose of growing plants, the Pennines are in hardiness zones 7 and 8, as defined by the USDA. Zone 8 is common throughout most of the UK, and zone 7 is the UK's coldest hardiness zone. The Pennines, Scottish Highlands, Southern Uplands and Snowdonia are the only areas of the UK in zone 7.

Geology

Thor's cave
Limestone scenery: Thor's Cave, Staffordshire, from the Manifold Way. Limestone is common in the White Peak and Yorkshire Dales, making those areas distinct from other parts of the Pennines.

The Pennines have been carved from a series of geological structures whose overall form is a broad anticline whose axis extends in a north–south direction. The North Pennines are coincident with the Alston Block, whilst the Yorkshire Dales are coincident with the Askrigg Block. In the south the Peak District is essentially a flat-topped dome. Each of these structures consists of Carboniferous limestone overlain with Millstone Grit. The limestone is exposed at the surface in the North Pennines and Yorkshire Dales to the north of the range and the Peak District to the south. In the Yorkshire Dales and the White Peak the limestone exposure has led to the formation of large cave systems and watercourses.

In the Dales the caves or potholes are known as "pots" in the Yorkshire dialect. They include some of the largest caves in England at Gaping Gill, more than 350 ft (107 m) deep and Rowten Pot, 365 ft (111 m) deep. Titan in the Peak District, the deepest shaft known in Britain, is connected to Peak Cavern in Castleton, Derbyshire, the largest cave entrance in the country. Erosion of the limestone has led to some unusual geological formations, such as the limestone pavements at Malham Cove. Between the northern and southern areas of exposed limestone (between Skipton and the Dark Peak) lies a narrow belt of exposed gritstone. Here the shales and sandstones of the Millstone Grit form high hills occupied by a moorland of bracken, peat, heather and coarse grasses;[35] the higher ground is uncultivable and barely fit for pasture.

History

Harkerside Moor
A prehistoric settlement on Harkerside Moor in Swaledale.

The area contains many Bronze Age settlements, and evidence of Neolithic settlement (including many stone circles or henges, such as Long Meg and Her Daughters).[36]

The Pennines were controlled by the tribal federation of the Brigantes, made up of mainly small tribes who inhabited the area and cooperated on defence and external affairs. The Brigantes evolved an early form of kingdom. During Roman times, the Brigantes were dominated by the Romans who exploited the Pennines for their natural resources including the wild animals found there.

The Pennines were a major obstacle for Anglo-Saxon expansion westwards, although it appears the Anglo-Saxons travelled through the valleys. During the Dark Ages the Pennines were controlled by Celtic and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It is believed that the north Pennines were under the control of the kingdom of Rheged.

During Norse times the Pennines were settled by Viking Danes in the east and Norwegian Vikings in the west. The Vikings influenced place names, culture and genetics. When England was unified the Pennines were incorporated into it. Their mixture of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Viking heritage resembled much of the rest of northern England and its culture developed alongside its lowland neighbours in northwest and northeast England. The Pennines were not a distinct political polity, but were divided between neighbouring counties in northeast and northwest England; a major part was in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Demography

The Pennine region is sparsely populated by English standards. Larger population centres adjoin the southern Pennine range, such as Barnsley, Chesterfield, Halifax, Huddersfield, Macclesfield, Oldham, Rochdale, and Stockport but most of the northern Pennine range is thinly populated.[37] The cities of Bradford, Derby, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and Wakefield lie in the foothills and lowlands fringing the range.

Economy

The main economic activities in the Pennines include sheep farming, quarrying, finance and tourism. In the Peak District, tourism is the major local employment for park residents (24%), with manufacturing industries (19%) and quarrying (12%) also being important while 12% are employed in agriculture.[38] Limestone is the most important mineral quarried, mainly for roads and cement, while other extracted materials include shale for cement and gritstone for building stone.[39] The springs at Buxton and Ashbourne are exploited to produce bottled mineral water and there are approximately 2,700 farms in the National Park.[40] The South Pennines are predominantly industrial, with the main industries including textiles, quarrying and mining,[41] while other economic activities within the South Pennines include tourism and farming.[42]

Although the Forest of Bowland is mostly rural, the main economic activities in the area include farming[43] and tourism.[44] In the Yorkshire Dales, tourism accounts for £350 million of expenditure every year while employment is mostly dominated by farming, accommodation and food sectors. There are also significant challenges for managing tourism, farming and other developments within the National Park.[45] The main economic activities in the North Pennines include tourism, farming, timber and small-scale quarrying, due to the rural landscape.[46]

Transport

Gaps through Pennine Mountains UK topographic map
The Pennines are traversed by several passes, mostly aligned with major rivers.

Gaps that allow west–east communication across the Pennines include the Tyne Gap between the Pennines and the Cheviots, through which the A69 road and Tyne Valley railway link Carlisle and Newcastle upon Tyne. The A66 road, its summit at 1,450 feet (440 m), follows the course of a Roman road from Scotch Corner to Penrith through the Stainmore Gap between the Eden Valley in Cumbria and Teesdale in County Durham. The Aire Gap links Lancashire and Yorkshire via the valleys of the Aire and Ribble. Other high-level roads include Buttertubs Pass, named from limestone potholes near its 1,729-foot (527 m) summit, between Hawes in Wensleydale and Swaledale and the A684 road from Sedbergh to Hawes via Garsdale Head which reaches 1,100 feet (340 m).[47]

Further south the A58 road traverses the Calder Valley between West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester reaching 1,282 feet (391 m) between Littleborough and Ripponden, while the A646 road along the Calder Valley between Burnley and Halifax reaches 764 feet (233 m) following valley floors. In the Peak District the A628 Woodhead road links the M67 motorway in Greater Manchester with the M1 motorway in South Yorkshire and Holme Moss is crossed by the A6024 road, whose highest point is near Holme Moss transmitting station between Longdendale and Holmfirth.[47]

The Pennines are traversed by the M62 motorway, the highest motorway in England at 1,221 feet (372 m) on Windy Hill near Junction 23.[47]

Three trans-Pennine canals built during the Industrial Revolution cross the range:

Woodhead New Tunnel 1735891
The eastern portal of Woodhead 3 shortly before opening in 1954
Class 76 locomotives 76033 and 76031 at Woodhead on 24th March 1981.jpeg
A train in British Rail blue about to enter the western portal of Woodhead 3, shortly before closure in 1981
Woodhead tunnels western portals 2048400
Photograph from 1953, showing the western portals of Woodhead 1&2 in the background, with Woodhead 3 under construction in the foreground

The first of the earlier twin tunnels (Woodhead 1 and 2) was completed by the Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester Railway in 1845, engineered by Charles Vignoles and Joseph Locke. At the time of its completion in 1845, Woodhead 1 was one of the world's longest railway tunnels at a length of 3 miles 13 yards (4,840 m); it was the first of several trans-Pennine tunnels including the Standedge and Totley tunnels, which are only slightly longer.

The first two tunnels were replaced by Woodhead 3, which was longer than the other two at 3 miles 66 yards (4860m). It was bored purposely for the overhead electrification of the route and completed in 1953. The tunnel was opened by the then transport minister Alan Lennox-Boyd on 3 June 1954.[49] It was designed by Sir William Halcrow & Partners. The line was closed in 1981.

The London and North Western Railway acquired the Huddersfield and Manchester Railway in 1847 and built a single-line tunnel parallel to the canal tunnel at Standedge with a length of 3 miles, 57 yards (4803 m). Today rail services along the Huddersfield line between Huddersfield and Victoria and Piccadilly stations in Manchester are operated by TransPennine Express and Northern. Between 1869 and 1876 the Midland Railway built the Settle-Carlisle Line through remote, scenic regions of the Pennines from near Settle to Carlisle passing Appleby-in-Westmorland and a number of other settlements, some a distance from their stations. The line has survived, despite difficult times[50] and is operated by Northern Rail.[51]

The Trans Pennine Trail, a long-distance route for cyclists, horse riders and walkers, runs west–east alongside rivers and canals, along disused railway tracks and through historic towns and cities from Southport to Hornsea (207 miles/333 km).[52] It crosses the north–south Pennine Way (268 miles/431 km) at Crowden-in-Longdendale.

National Parks and AONBs

National Parks in England and Wales
The National Parks of England and Wales; two include areas of the Pennines, those marked as 7 and 1

Considerable areas of Pennine landscape are protected as UK national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are afforded much the same protection as national parks. The two national parks within the Pennines are the Yorkshire Dales National Park (7) and the Peak District National Park (1).

AONBSUK
England, Wales and Northern Ireland AONBs. The Pennines host three, with a large one protecting the North Pennines.

The North Pennines AONB just north of the Yorkshire Dales rivals the national park in size and includes some of the Pennines' highest peaks and some of its most isolated and sparsely populated areas while Nidderdale is an AONB east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the Bowland Fells, including Pendle Hill, is an AONB west of the Yorkshire Dales.

Language

The language used in pre-Roman and Roman times was Common Brittonic. During the Early Middle Ages, the Cumbric language developed. Little evidence of Cumbric remains, so it is difficult to ascertain whether or not it was distinct from Old Welsh. The extent of the region in which Cumbric was spoken is also unknown.

During Anglo-Saxon times the area was settled by Anglian peoples of Mercia and Northumbria, rather than the Saxon people of Southern England. Celtic speech remained in most areas of the Pennines longer than it did in the surrounding areas of England. Eventually, the Celtic tongue of the Pennines was replaced by early English as Anglo-Saxons and Vikings settled the area and assimilated the Celts.[53]

In Norse times, Viking settlers brought their languages of Old Norse, Old Danish (mainly in the Yorkshire Dales and parts of the Peak District) and Old Norwegian (mainly in the western Pennines). With the eventual consolidation of England by the Saxon kingdom of Wessex, the pure Norse speech died out in England, though it survived in the Pennines longer than in most areas. However, the fusion of Norse and Old English was important in the formation of Middle English and hence Modern English, and many individual words of Norse descent remain in use in local dialects, such as that of Yorkshire, and in local place names.

Folklore and customs

The folklore and customs are mostly based on Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Viking customs and folklore. Many customs and stories have their origin in Christianised pagan traditions. In the Peak District, a notable custom is well dressing, which has its origin in pagan traditions that became Christianised.[54]

Flora

Flora in the Pennines is adapted to moorland and subarctic landscapes and climates. The flora found there can be found in other areas of moorland in Northern Europe and some species are also found in areas of tundra.

In the Pennine millstone grit areas above an altitude of 900 feet (270 m) the topsoil is so acidic, pH 2 to 4, that it can grow only bracken, heather, sphagnum, and coarse grasses[35] such as cottongrass, purple moor grass and heath rush.[55]

As the Ice age glacial sheets retreated c. 11,500 BC trees returned and archaeological palynology can identify their species. The first trees to settle were willow, birch and juniper, followed later by alder and pine. By 6500 BC temperatures were warmer and woodlands covered 90% of the dales with mostly pine, elm, lime and oak. On the limestone soils the oak was slower to colonize and pine and birch predominated. Around 3000 BC a noticeable decline in tree pollen indicates that neolithic farmers were clearing woodland to increase grazing for domestic livestock, and studies at Linton Mires and Eshton Tarn find an increase in grassland species.[56]

On poorly drained impermeable areas of millstone grit, shale or clays the topsoil gets waterlogged in winter and spring. Here tree suppression combined with the heavier rainfall results in blanket bog up to 7 ft (2 m) thick. The erosion of peat still exposes stumps of ancient trees.[56]

In digging it away they frequently find vast fir trees, perfectly sound, and some oaks ...

— Arthur Young, A Six Months' Tour of the North of England (1771)[57]

Fauna

Two grouse "picked" after the previous day's shoot. - geograph.org.uk - 547403
Shooting of red grouse is an economically important activity in the Pennines.

Fauna in the Pennines is similar to the rest of England and Wales, but the area hosts some specialised species. Deer are found throughout the Pennines and some species of animals that are rare elsewhere in England can be found here. Arctic hares, which were common in Britain during the Ice Age and retreated to the cooler, more tundra-like uplands once the climate warmed up, were introduced to the Dark Peak area of the Peak District in the 19th century.

Large areas of heather moorland in the Pennines are managed for driven shooting of wild red grouse. The related and declining black grouse is still found in northern parts of the Pennines. Other birds whose English breeding strongholds are in the Pennines include golden plover, snipe, curlew, dunlin, merlin, short-eared owl, ring ouzel and twite,[58] though many of these are at the southern limit of their distributions and are more common in Scotland.

See also

References

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External links

A66 road

The A66 is a major road in Northern England, which in part follows the course of the Roman road from Scotch Corner to Penrith. It runs from east of Middlesbrough in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire to Workington in Cumbria. It is anomalously numbered since west of Penrith it trespasses into numbering zone 5; this is because it originally terminated at the A6 in Penrith but was extended further west in order to create one continuous east–west route. Most of what is now the A66 west of Penrith was originally A594 – only a small stub of this road numbering remains, from Maryport to Cockermouth.

From its eastern terminus between Redcar and Middlesbrough it runs past Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington mainly as two-lane dual-carriageway and single carriageway past Darlington, becoming motorway standard as the A66(M) shortly before meeting junction 57 of the A1(M). It follows the A1(M) south to Scotch Corner, from where it continues west across the Pennines, past Brough, Appleby, Kirkby Thore, Temple Sowerby and Penrith until it reaches Junction 40 of the M6 motorway at Skirsgill Interchange, where traffic going towards Western Scotland turns onto the northbound M6. The A66 continues past Blencathra to Keswick and Cockermouth and on through the northern reaches of the Lake District before arriving at the coastal town of Workington. There is a short stretch of dual carriageway along the northern part of Bassenthwaite Lake between Keswick and Cockermouth. Whilst the eastbound section follows the straight line of the disused Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway, the westbound section has numerous bends with climbs and dips. The westbound section was closed due to flood damage in December 2015 and when it re-opened in May 2016 had been permanently reduced to a single lane. This section has a 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) limit monitored by average speed cameras.

Burnhope Seat

Burnhope Seat is a moor in the North Pennines of England. It lies between the heads of the Rivers Tees, South Tyne and Wear. The summit is crossed by the boundary between County Durham and Cumbria (historically Cumberland). It is the highest point in historic County Durham.

The B6277 road between Alston and Middleton-in-Teesdale passes within 2 km of the summit, thus providing the easiest route of ascent. The hill may also be climbed from Weardale as part of high-level circuit of Burnhope Reservoir. The highest point of the hill lies in Cumbria, some 200 m west of a trig point on the border.

There are some ski-tows on the northwest slopes of the hill - this forms the Yad Moss ski facility, which has recently been upgraded by Sport England.

The entire area is designated "access land" under the terms of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Cold Fell (Pennines)

Cold Fell is a mountain in the northern Pennines, in Cumbria, England. Lying among the northernmost uplands of the North Pennines AONB, it is the most northernly mountain in Cumbria and is considered a marilyn due to its prominence of 168m.

Cross Fell

Cross Fell is the highest mountain in the Pennine Hills of Northern England and the highest point in England outside the Lake District. It is located in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The summit, at 2,930 feet (893 m), is a stony plateau, part of a 7.8-mile-long (12.6-kilometre-long) ridge running north-west to south-east, which also incorporates Little Dun Fell at 2,762 feet (842 m) and Great Dun Fell at 2,785 feet (849 m). The three adjoining fells form an escarpment that rises steeply above the Eden Valley on its south-western side and drops off more gently on its north-eastern side towards the South Tyne and Tees Valleys.

Cross Fell summit is crowned by a cross-shaped dry-stone shelter. On a clear day there are excellent views from the summit across the Eden Valley to the mountains of the Lake District. On the northern side of Cross Fell there are also fine views across the Solway Firth to the Southern Uplands of Scotland.

The fell is prone to dense hill fog and fierce winds. A shrieking noise induced by the Helm Wind is a characteristic of the locality. It can be an inhospitable place for much of the year. In ancient times it was known as "Fiends Fell" and believed to be the haunt of evil spirits. St Augustine of Canterbury is said to have blessed the hill when he arrived here on his travels so it became known as Cross Fell in the Christian tradition, although it has been speculated that the fell became known as Cross Fell ("cross" meaning "angry") because of the evil spirits.

Dufton Pike

Dufton Pike is a hill in the northern Pennines, in Cumbria, England. It is classed as a Marilyn (a hill with topographic prominence of at least 150m). It rises above the village of Dufton.

Geography of England

England comprises most of the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, in addition to a number of small islands of which the largest is the Isle of Wight. England is bordered to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. It is closer to continental Europe than any other part of mainland Britain, divided from France only by a 33 km (21 mi) sea gap, the English Channel. The 50 km (31 mi) Channel Tunnel, near Folkestone, directly links England to mainland Europe. The English/French border is halfway along the tunnel.Much of England consists of low hills and plains, with upland and mountainous terrain in the north and west. Uplands in the north include the Pennines, an upland chain dividing east and west, the Lake District, containing the highest mountains in the country, the Cheviot Hills across the Anglo-Scottish border, and the North York Moors near the North Sea. Uplands in the west include Dartmoor and Exmoor in the south west and the Shropshire Hills near Wales. The approximate dividing line between terrain types is often indicated by the Tees-Exe line. To the south of that line, there are larger areas of flatter land, including East Anglia and the Fens, although hilly areas include the Cotswolds, the Chilterns, and the North and South Downs.

The largest natural harbour in England is at Poole, on the south-central coast. Some regard it as the second largest harbour in the world, after Sydney, Australia, although this fact is disputed (see harbours for a list of other large natural harbours).

List of Nuttall mountains in England and Wales

This is a list of Nuttall mountains in England and Wales by height. Nuttalls are defined as peaks above 2,000 feet (609.6 m) in height, the general requirement to be called a "mountain" in the British Isles, and with a prominence above 15 metres (49.2 ft); a mix of imperial and metric thresholds.The Nuttall classification was suggested by Anne and John Nuttall in their 1990 two–volume book, "The Mountains of England and Wales". The list was updated with subsequent revised editions by the Nuttalls. Because of the prominence threshold of only 15 metres (49.2 ft), the list is subject to ongoing revisions. In response, Alan Dawson introduced the Hewitts, with a higher prominence threshold of 30 metres (98.4 ft). This was the prominence threshold that the UIAA set down in 1994 for an "independent" peak. In 2010, Dawson replaced his Hewitts with the fully "metric" Simms, consisting of a height threshold of 600 metres (1,968.5 ft), and a prominence threshold of 30 metres (98.4 ft). However, both the Nuttall and Hewitt classifications have become popular with peak baggers, and both remain in use, and their respective authors maintain up to date lists, as does the Database of British and Irish Hills.As of October 2018 there were 446 Nuttalls, with 257 in England and 189 in Wales. The first people registered as climbing all of the Nuttalls were Anne and John Nuttall themselves, in March 1990. A register of people who declare they have climbed all of the Nuttalls is kept by the Long Distance Walkers Association ("LWDA"); As of October 2018, it totalled 302 names. On 16 September 2017, James Forrest completed all 446 Nuttalls in six months.

Littleborough, Greater Manchester

Littleborough is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale, in Greater Manchester, England. It is located in the upper Roch Valley by the foothills of the South Pennines, 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Rochdale and 12.6 miles (20.3 km) north-northeast of Manchester; Milnrow and the M62 motorway are to the south, and the rural uplands of Blackstone Edge are to the east. In 2001, Littleborough and its suburbs of Calderbrook, Shore and Smithy Bridge, had a population of 13,807.

Historically a part of Lancashire, Littleborough and its surroundings have provided evidence of Neolithic, Celtic, Roman and Anglo-Saxon activity in the area. During the Middle Ages, Littleborough was a hamlet in the manor of Hundersfield, parish of Rochdale and hundred of Salford. It was focussed upon the junction of two ancient routes over the Pennines — one of which may have been a Roman road — that joined to cross the River Roch. By 1472, Littleborough consisted of a chapel, a cluster of cottages, and an inn, and its inhabitants were broadly farmers who were spurred to weave wool by merchants who passed between the markets at Rochdale and Halifax. When cotton was introduced as a base to make textiles, Littleborough experienced an influx of families, mostly from the neighbouring West Riding of Yorkshire. Affluent homes and estates were established on Littleborough's fringes.In the late 18th century, the low-altitude Summit Gap between Littleborough and Walsden was approved as the best route over the Pennines for the Rochdale Canal and the Manchester to Leeds railway; Hollingworth Lake was built at Littleborough's south side as a feeder reservoir to regulate the waters of the canal. This infrastructure encouraged industrialists to modify Littleborough's traditional handloom cloth workshops with a mechanised form of textile production. Attracted to the area's natural resources and modern infrastructure, coal mining, engineering ventures and increasingly large textile mills contributed to Littleborough's population growth and urbanisation, sealing its status as a mill town. Local government reforms established the Littleborough Urban District in 1894 which was governed by its own district council until its abolition in 1974.

During the mid-20th century, imports of cheaper foreign goods prompted the gradual deindustrialisation of Littleborough, but its commercial diversity allowed it to repel the ensuing economic depression experienced elsewhere in North West England. Subsumed into the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale in 1974, Littleborough endures as a commuter town with a distinct community; its Civic Trust works to preserve and enhance its historic character, and societies exist to use the surrounding countryside for water-skiing, horse riding and other recreational activities. Littleborough's stone-built town centre is designated as a Conservation Area for its special architectural qualities.

Mickle Fell

Mickle Fell is a mountain in the Pennines, the range of hills and moors running down the middle of Northern England. It is 2,585 feet (788 m) high and lies slightly off the main watershed of the Pennines, about ten miles south of Cross Fell.

It is the highest point within the historic county of Yorkshire. It is part of southern Teesdale, which was transferred from the North Riding of Yorkshire to County Durham for administrative and ceremonial purposes under the Local Government Act 1972, and thus is also the highest point in ceremonial County Durham. The highest point in historic County Durham is Burnhope Seat.

The name of Mickle Fell comes from the Old Norse word mikill meaning great and fell (or fjäll) meaning mountain or hill.

The fell lies in the middle of a large area of boggy moorland and requires a long hike to get to it from any direction. Mickle Fell's distinctive outline makes it a recognisable object in views from the Lake District hills, particularly Blencathra, the Helvellyn range, and High Street. South of Mickle Fell the ridge descends to the Stainmore Gap before rising again into the Yorkshire Dales.

Mickle Fell and surrounding moorland forms part of the Warcop Training Area, a Ministry of Defence firing range. As a result, public access to the fell is limited. It can be ascended from the Eden Valley to the west, or from Teesdale to the east.

Marilyns are rare in the North Pennines because of the relative flatness of the moors, but Mickle Fell is one such hill: it is separated from its neighbours by over 200 m of relative height.

Millstone Grit

Millstone Grit is the name given to any of a number of coarse-grained sandstones of Carboniferous age which occur in the British Isles. The name derives from its use in earlier times as a source of millstones for use principally in watermills. Geologists refer to the whole suite of rocks that encompass the individual limestone beds and the intervening mudstones as the Millstone Grit Group. The term Millstone Grit Series was formerly used to refer to the rocks now included within the Millstone Grit Group together with the underlying Edale Shale Group.

The term gritstone describes any sandstone composed of coarse angular grains, and specifically refers to such sandstones within the Pennines and neighbouring areas of Northern England.

Nine Standards Rigg

Nine Standards Rigg is the summit of Hartley Fell in the Pennine Hills of England. It lies near the boundary between Cumbria and North Yorkshire, a few miles south-east of Kirkby Stephen and approximately 770 yards (700 m) outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Nine Standards Rigg lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The name is derived from a group of cairns, the Nine Standards, located near the summit. The fell is listed as Nine Standards Rigg, rather than Hartley Fell, in Alan Dawson's book The Hewitts and Marilyns of England.

The Nine Standards themselves, some of which were originally more than four metres high, are on the line of the Coast to Coast Walk between Kirkby Stephen and Keld, and are just to the north of the fell's summit. Situated at a height of 650 m, their original purpose is uncertain but one possibility is that they marked the boundary between Westmorland and Swaledale.The Nine Standards offer a better viewpoint than the Ordnance Survey trig point that marks the actual summit of the fell. Cross Fell and Great Dun Fell can be seen to the north-west and Wild Boar Fell and the Howgills feature in the south-west. The High Street Range of the eastern Lake District can be seen further to the west. Great Shunner Fell, crossed by the Pennine Way, and Rogan's Seat lie to the south-east.

North Pennines

The North Pennines is the northernmost section of the Pennine range of hills which runs north–south through northern England. It lies between Carlisle to the west and Darlington to the east. It is bounded to the north by the Tyne Valley and to the south by the Stainmore Gap.

Pennine Cycleway

The Pennine Cycleway is a Sustrans-sponsored route in the Pennines range in northern England, an area often called the "backbone of England". The route passes through the counties of Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland. It is part of the National Cycle Network (NCN). Sustrans founder John Grimshaw calls it 'the best National Cycle Network route of the lot'.The majority of the route follows NCN 68. It also makes use of several other NCN routes including 6, 54, 62, 70, 7, 72 and 1.

It has a total length of about 327 miles (526 km). The route was opened in stages in 2002–03.

Pennine Way

The Pennine Way is a National Trail in England, with a small section in Scotland. The trail runs 268 miles (431 km) from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border. The path runs along the Pennine hills, sometimes described as the "backbone of England". Although not the United Kingdom's longest National Trail (this distinction belongs to the 630-mile (1,014 km) South West Coast Path), it is according to the Ramblers' Association "one of Britain's best known and toughest".

South Pennines

The South Pennines is a region of moorland and hill country in northern England lying towards the southern end of the Pennines. In the west it includes the Rossendale Valley and the West Pennine Moors. It is bounded by the Greater Manchester conurbation in the west and the Bowland Fells and Yorkshire Dales to the north. To the east it is fringed by the towns of West Yorkshire whilst to the south it is bounded by the Peak District. The rural South Pennine Moors constitutes both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation.

Teesdale

Teesdale is a dale, or valley, of the east side of the Pennines in County Durham, England. Large parts of Teesdale fall within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - the second largest AONB in England and Wales. The River Tees rises below Cross Fell, the highest hill in the Pennines at 2,930 feet (890 m), and its uppermost valley is remote and high. The local climate was scientifically classified as "Sub-Arctic" and snow has sometimes lain on Cross Fell into June (there is an alpine ski area Yad Moss).

Trans Pennine Trail

The Trans Pennine Trail is a long-distance path running from coast to coast across Northern England entirely on surfaced paths and using only gentle gradients (it runs largely along disused railway lines and canal towpaths). It forms part of European walking route E8 and is part of the National Cycle Network as Route 62 (referencing the M62 motorway which also crosses the Pennines).

Most of the surfaces and gradients make it a relatively easy trail, suitable for cyclists, pushchairs and wheelchair users. The section between Stockport and Barnsley is hilly, especially near Woodhead, and not all sections or barriers are accessible for users of wheelchairs or non-standard cycles. Some parts are also open to horse riding.

The trail is administered from a central office in Barnsley, which is responsible for promotion and allocation of funding. However, the twenty-seven local authorities whose areas the trail runs through are responsible for management of the trail within their boundaries.

West Pennine Moors

The West Pennine Moors is an area of the Pennines covering approximately 90 square miles (230 km2) of moorland and reservoirs in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, England.The West Pennine Moors are separated from the main Pennine range by the Irwell Valley. The moorland includes Withnell, Anglezarke and Rivington Moors in the extreme west, Darwen and Turton Moors, Oswaldtwistle Moors and Holcombe Moors. These moors are lower in height than the main spine of the South Pennines. At 1,496 feet (456 m), the highest point is at Winter Hill. The area is of historical importance with archaeological evidence of human activity from Neolithic times. The area is close to urban areas, the dramatic backdrop to Bolton, Blackburn and Bury and neighbouring towns affording panoramic views across the Lancashire Plain and the Greater Manchester conurbation. The moorland is surrounded by the towns of Bolton, Chorley, Darwen, Horwich, Ramsbottom, Haslingden and Oswaldtwistle. Notable structures include Rivington Pike Tower, Winter Hill transmitting station, Peel Monument near Holcombe and the Jubilee Tower on Darwen Moor.

United Utilities owns around 40% of the land for water catchment. The company operates four information centres at Rivington, Jumbles Country Park, Roddlesworth and Haslingden Grane.

Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is an upland area of the Pennines in the historic county of Yorkshire, most of it in the Yorkshire Dales National Park created in 1954.The Dales comprises river valleys and the hills, rising from the Vale of York westwards to the hilltops of the Pennine watershed. In Ribblesdale, Dentdale and Garsdale, the area extends westwards across the watershed, but most of the valleys drain eastwards to the Vale of York, into the Ouse and the Humber. The extensive limestone cave systems are a major area for caving in the UK and numerous walking trails run through the hills and dales.

Climate data for Great Dun Fell, North Pennines (848 m) 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.5
(34.7)
0.8
(33.4)
2.2
(36.0)
4.2
(39.6)
7.9
(46.2)
10.5
(50.9)
12.4
(54.3)
12.1
(53.8)
9.7
(49.5)
6.6
(43.9)
3.8
(38.8)
1.9
(35.4)
6.1
(43.0)
Average low °C (°F) −2.6
(27.3)
−2.9
(26.8)
−1.9
(28.6)
−0.4
(31.3)
2.3
(36.1)
5.1
(41.2)
7.3
(45.1)
7.3
(45.1)
5.2
(41.4)
2.6
(36.7)
−0.1
(31.8)
−2.3
(27.9)
1.6
(34.9)
Source: Met Office[34]

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