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.
|Classification:||Nuttall, Hewitt, Marilyn|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.