Calver Hill

Calver Hill

Calver Hill, also known as Low Reeth Moor, has a foot in both Swaledale and its side valley Arkengarthdale and is a notable landmark in both valleys.

Height (m): 487
Height (ft): 1598
Prominence (m): 90
Classification: Four
Hill No: 7723
Grid Ref: NZ013003
OS Map OL30
No. of Visits 2

Although it is fairly modest in height there is no doubt that Calver Hill is the shapeliest of Swaledale’s fells. Its position above Reeth means it has a foot inSwaledale and Arkengarthdale and is prominent in almost all views in the area.

Calver Hill from the south-west
Calver Hill from the south-west

The lower slopes of Calver Hills consists of fairly gentle moorland that is used for grouse shooting. The heather gives way to grass as the steeper upper slopes of the fell are reached. Here limestone predominates and has in the past been quarried from the side of the hill.

The disused quarry to the east of the summit
The disused quarry to the east of the summit

Whilst the Ordnance Survey does not show any paths leading to the summit there are at least a couple of options. One is to follow the line of grouse butts from near Watson House on the Arkengarthdale road. After a fairly gentle walk along Low Reeth Moor the ground steepens suddenly as the path winds up alongside some old quarry workings.

Calver Hill from near High Fremington
Calver Hill from near High Fremington

Another option is to look out for a vehicle track heading west from Riddings Farm at the top of Skelgate Lane. This leads up to the final steep southern slopes and is probably the quickest route up from Reeth.

Calver Hill from Reeth High Moor
Calver Hill from Reeth High Moor

There are two features of interest on the summit itself, the first is the large cairn which can be clearly seen from neighbouring hills. The second is a cross constructed from stones laid out on the ground a short way north-east of the cairn. I don’t know who built the cross or why though I suspect the similarity of Calver Hill’s name to Calvary is quite possibly the reason.

The stone cross on Calver Hill
The stone cross on Calver Hill

The Database of British Hills claims the highest point of the fell is the perimeter of an old shaft which is 10cm higher than a rock 1m away from the cairn. Only the most fastidious hill baggers would however see the cairn as anything but the place to celebrate reaching the top.

The large cairn on the top of Calver Hill
The large cairn on the top of Calver Hill

The view from the summit is excellent with two sections of Swaledale in view. To the east Fremington Edge forms an impressive wall above Arkengarthdale while to the north and west are the high moors of Great Pinseat and Rogan’s Seat. Further down the valley Lovely Seat and Great Shunner Fell can also be seen.

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