Great Coum

Great Coum

Great Coum is situated above Dentdale and, as one of the higher fells in the Yorkshire Dales, commands great views of the north-west Dales.

Height (m): 687
Height (ft): 2254
Prominence (m): 221
Classification: Nuttall, Hewitt, Marilyn
Hill No: 2784
Grid Ref: SD700835
OS Map OL2
No. of Visits 4

Great Coum is bounded to the west by the deep trench of Barbondale, Dentdale to the north and Deepdale to the east. Great Coum’s long southern ridge features two separate tops Green Hill and Gragareth which in turn separate the valleys of Leck Beck and Kingsdale.

Great Coum
Great Coum

The name of the hill is a variant spelling of Great Combe, a steep shallow glacial comb just to the north-east of the summit. The summit is a small pile of stones next to a wall above the comb. A larger cairn further to the west on the other side of the wall is easy to mistake for the summit for the simple fact that it stands out more than the shy pile of stones marking the highest point.

With a group of friends by the small pile of stones marking the summit
With a group of friends by the small pile of stones marking the summit

Half a mile to the south-west of the summit is a subsidary top called Crag Hill. Standing high above Barbondale, Crag Hill is only five metres lower than Great Coum. A trig point makes Crag Hill a more satisfying spot than the top of Great Coum and also features a cracking view of the Howgill Fells.

The trig point on Crag Hill
The trig point on Crag Hill

Presumably Crag Hill takes its name from the modest gritstone edge known simply as The Crag which is situated midway between Crag Hill and Great Coum. It is worth a detour to this fine spot with one outcrop topped by a particularly well built cairn.

The well built cairn on The Crag
The well built cairn on The Crag

Talking of cairns another feature of Great Coum are the Megger Stones, a series of cairns near an old quarry halfway down the northern slopes of the fell overlooking Dentdale. The cairns are particularly prominent from the valley and in turn they feature a wonderful view looking up the valley towards Great Knoutberry Hill.

Dentdale from the Megger Stones
Dentdale from the Megger Stones

Another feature of interest is the County Stone. This can be found in a wall junction just above the col with Green Hill. This large stone marked the old boundary between Lancashire, Westmorland and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Nowadays it is the meeting place of a small sliver of Lancashire and Cumbria.

The County Stone
The County Stone

<< Back to Hills, Moors & Fells