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Bleaklow Head
The boggy "summit" of Bleaklow
Elevation 633 m (2,077 ft)
Prominence c. 128 m
Parent peak Kinder Scout
Listing Hewitt, Nuttall
Location Derbyshire, England, UK
Range Peak District
OS grid SK093959
Coordinates 53°27′36″N 1°51′45″W / 53.4600°N 1.8626°W / 53.4600; -1.8626Coordinates: 53°27′36″N 1°51′45″W / 53.4600°N 1.8626°W / 53.4600; -1.8626
Topo map OS Landranger 110
Listed summits of Bleaklow
Name Grid ref Height Status
Higher Shelf Stones SK089948 621 m Nuttall
Bleaklow Stones SK116964 628 m
Bleaklow is located in Derbyshire
Map showing the location of Bleaklow within Derbyshire

Bleaklow is a high, largely peat covered, gritstone moorland, just north of Kinder Scout, across the Snake Pass (A57), in the Derbyshire High Peak near the town of Glossop. Much of it is nearly 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level and it is the source of the River Derwent.

Bleaklow Head, the high point at the western side of the moor, is a Hewitt and is crossed by the Pennine Way. It is one of three summits on this plateau above 2,000 feet, the others being Bleaklow Stones, some 1.9 miles (3 km) to the east along an indefinite ridge, and Higher Shelf Stones, 0.9 miles (1.5 km) south of Bleaklow Head. Bleaklow includes the most easterly point in the British Isles over 2,000 feet, near Bleaklow Stones.

Much of the main plateau of Bleaklow is a boggy peat moorland, seamed by 'groughs' (pronounced 'gruffs', water-eroded channels in the peat), and lacking strong changes in elevation – in poor conditions its traverse is probably the most navigationally challenging in the Peak District.[1]

Bleaklow is part of the National Trust's High Peak Estate.

In exceptional weather conditions it is possible to see Snowdonia.

Picture gallery[edit]

On 3 November 1948, USAF Boeing RB-29A Superfortress 44-61999, of the 16th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 91st Reconnaissance Group, 311th Air Division, Strategic Air Command; crashed at Higher Shelf Stones, Bleaklow, whilst en route from Scampton to Burtonwood. All 13 crewmembers were killed. A large amount of wreckage is still visible, as a memorial to the crash. Also, a proper memorial was erected at the site in 1988. There is public access to the area. To reach the wreckage, follow the Pennine Way from Snake Summit as far as its crossing with Doctors Gate. A short distance after this point leave the main path and head due west for 100 m until another path is reached that follows the valley edge. Follow this all the way to the Summit of Higher Shelf Stones. From here follow the numerous paths leading through the heather towards Higher Shelf Summit. The wreckage lies a short distance along these paths.

Engine wreckage on Shelfstones
General view of the aircraft wreckage
Memorial plaque by the wreckage
Trig point on Shelf Stones


  1. ^ Pilton, Barry (1986). One Man and his Bog. Corgi Books. p. 26. ISBN 0-552-12796-5. 

External links[edit]

  • Computer generated summit panorama Bleaklow index
  • Photographs and grid reference of RB-29 wreck site and other crash sites on Bleaklow
  • There is a Dark Peak fieldwork website which includes a virtual tour of the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, and includes Bleaklow Dark Peak Co-authors are Cassandra Worman and Julia McMorrow (School of Geography, Manchester University). [link broken]
  • Resources about the B-29 wreck and other air accidents in this region.