Cheviot Hills

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For the neighborhood of Los Angeles, see Cheviot Hills, Los Angeles. For the town in New Zealand, see Cheviot, New Zealand.

Coordinates: 55°28′41″N 2°09′07″W / 55.478°N 2.152°W / 55.478; -2.152

Cheviot Hills
The Cheviot from Broadhope Hill.jpg
The Cheviot from Broadhope Hill
Cheviot Hills is located in Northumberland
Cheviot Hills
Cheviot Hills
 Cheviot Hills shown within Northumberland
OS grid reference NT905205
List of places
UK
England
Northumberland

The Cheviot Hills is a range of rolling hills straddling the Anglo-Scottish border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. The English section is within the Northumberland National Park. The range includes The Cheviot, the highest hill, plus Hedgehope Hill, Windy Gyle, Cushat Law and Bloodybush Edge.

The Cheviot Hills are primarily associated with geological activity from approximately 480 to 360 million years ago, when the continents of Avalonia and Laurentia collided, resulting in extensive volcanic activity (the Caledonian orogeny) which created a granite outcrop surrounded by lava flows.

The area enjoys a general right to roam under both the English 'Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000' and the Scottish 'Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2004'.

The Southern Cheviots include the Otterburn 'Army Training Estate' (ATE), the UK's largest firing range, where the Ministry of Defence train up to 30,000 soldiers a year.

Description[edit]

The Cheviot is the highest hill in the range at 2,674 ft (815 m). Other notable tops are Hedgehope Hill, Windy Gyle, Cushat Law and Bloodybush Edge. Of the hills mentioned, only Windy Gyle has its summit on the border. The rest are all within England. The English section is protected within the Northumberland National Park.

Although many of the summits top 500 metres, most have a relatively low prominence. Only three rise 150 metres or more above the surrounding terrain: The Cheviot itself, Shillhope Law and Housedon Hill, a small northern outlier (see Marilyn). To the south-west the Cheviots merge into the Kielder Forest group of hills.

There is a broad split between the northern and the southern Cheviots. The former encompass most of the high ground and are pierced by five main valleys:

The southern Cheviot hills encompass the slopes running down to the valley of the river Coquet.

Geology[edit]

The Cheviot Hills are associated with Devonian volcanics.[1] They are arc andesites and basalts and chemistry predominantly calc-alkaline. The formation of the hills was as a result of the Avalonia - Laurentia collision during the Ordovician which subducted the Avalonian crust underneath the Laurentian plate (which Scotland was once on). This created some of the large caledonian igneous provinces throughout the Scottish Highlands.[2]

The centre of the range comprises a Devonian granite outcrop surrounded by Silurian and Devonian andesite lava flows on each side. These are in turn intruded by igneous dykes arranged radially around the Cheviot pluton. The surrounding lower ground is formed from Carboniferous Limestone though much of it is obscured by superficial deposist of Quaternary age.[2]

History[edit]

The Cheviot hills were the site of the Battle of Otterburn in 1388, and possibly to a separate bloody battle between English and Scottish forces, after which only 110 people survived, which is described in "The Ballad of Chevy Chase". (Note - the origin of the border skirmishes between Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, and the Scottish Earl of Douglas, may have been a hunt that strayed into Scotland and was interpreted as an invasion.)

Access[edit]

Most of the range on the English side is mapped as 'open country' and hence there is a general right to roam over it as prescribed in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Traditional rights of access in Scotland, bolstered by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2004 provide for similar access for the public to the north of the border. In addition, a sparse network of public bridleways and footpaths stretches around the area, often providing useful means of access from the lower ground onto the open hills.

The northernmost leg of the Pennine Way runs from Byrness to Kirk Yetholm. It is the longest, and most exposed, on the whole of the national trail. The Way follows the high level Border Ridge (literally the England–Scotland boundary fence) for nearly 20 miles (30 km) after the ascent to the ridge from Byrness. The terrain is boggy and remote, and two mountain refuge huts are situated on the Way for those too tired or weather-beaten to continue.

Otterburn Army Training Estate[edit]

The Otterburn Army Training Estate (ATE) covers about 230 square kilometres of the Southern Cheviots, approximately 23% of the Northumberland National Park. It is owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and used for training some 30,000 soldiers a year. Otterburn is the UK's largest firing range, and is in frequent use — artillery can be clearly heard from Lindisfarne to the north-east and Fontburn Reservoir in the south. Because of this, recreational use of the area is restricted, although it is possible for the public to use some parts of the estate subject to the relevant bylaws. The MoD publishes a booklet, Walks on Ministry of Defence Lands, which offers advice on this matter (see link below).[3][4][5]

Peaks over 500 metres in the Cheviot Hills[edit]

The peaks marked with a warning sign (Nuvola apps important.svg) lie within the danger area of the ATE Otterburn artillery range.[verification needed]

Name Height (m) OS Grid reference Coordinates
CheviotThe Cheviot 815 NT909205 55°28′40″N 2°08′35″W / 55.47778°N 2.14306°W / 55.47778; -2.14306 (Cheviot)
Cairn Hill 777 NT903195 55°28′10″N 2°09′10″W / 55.46944°N 2.15278°W / 55.46944; -2.15278 (Cairn Hill)
Hedgehope Hill 714 NT944197 55°28′15″N 2°05′20″W / 55.47083°N 2.08889°W / 55.47083; -2.08889 (Hedgehope Hill)
Comb Fell (peak to the east of the Fell) 652 NT924187 55°27′40″N 2°07′10″W / 55.46111°N 2.11944°W / 55.46111; -2.11944 (Comb Fell)
Windy Gyle 619 NT855153 55°25′50″N 2°13′45″W / 55.43056°N 2.22917°W / 55.43056; -2.22917 (Windy Gyle)
Cushat Law 615 NT927137 55°25′00″N 2°06′50″W / 55.41667°N 2.11389°W / 55.41667; -2.11389 (Cushat Law)
Bloodybush Edge 610 NT903144 55°25′20″N 2°09′10″W / 55.42222°N 2.15278°W / 55.42222; -2.15278 (Bloodybush Edge)
SchilThe Schil 601 NT869223 55°29′45″N 2°12′30″W / 55.49583°N 2.20833°W / 55.49583; -2.20833 (The Schil)
Catcleuch Shinpeak SSW of Catcleuch Shin 579 NT682052 55°20′20″N 2°30′00″W / 55.33889°N 2.50000°W / 55.33889; -2.50000 (Catcleuch Shin)
Dunmoor Hill 569 NT967187 55°27′30″N 2°03′00″W / 55.45833°N 2.05000°W / 55.45833; -2.05000 (Dunmoor Hill)
CurrThe Curr 564 NT850233 55°30′15″N 2°14′10″W / 55.50417°N 2.23611°W / 55.50417; -2.23611 (The Curr)
Wholhope Hill 563 NT941117 55°23′50″N 2°05′40″W / 55.39722°N 2.09444°W / 55.39722; -2.09444 (Wholhope Hill)
Beefstand Hill 562 NT821143 55°25′20″N 2°16′55″W / 55.42222°N 2.28194°W / 55.42222; -2.28194 (Beefstand Hill)
Thirl Moor Nuvola apps important.svg 558 NT806083 55°22′10″N 2°18′20″W / 55.36944°N 2.30556°W / 55.36944; -2.30556 (Thirl Moor)
Mozie Law 552 NT828150 55°25′45″N 2°16′10″W / 55.42917°N 2.26944°W / 55.42917; -2.26944 (Mozie Law)
Carlin Tooth 551 NT631024 55°18′55″N 2°34′50″W / 55.31528°N 2.58056°W / 55.31528; -2.58056 (Carlin Tooth)
Limestone Knowe 551 NT672018 55°18′30″N 2°31′00″W / 55.30833°N 2.51667°W / 55.30833; -2.51667 (Limestone Knowe)
Hartshorn Pike 549 NT627017 55°18′30″N 2°35′10″W / 55.30833°N 2.58611°W / 55.30833; -2.58611 (Hartshorn Pike)
Black Hag 549 NT861237 55°30′25″N 2°13′05″W / 55.50694°N 2.21806°W / 55.50694; -2.21806 (Black Hag)
Scald Hill 549 NT927218 55°29′20″N 2°07′00″W / 55.48889°N 2.11667°W / 55.48889; -2.11667 (Scald Hill)
Carter Fell 547 NT672035 55°19′25″N 2°31′00″W / 55.32361°N 2.51667°W / 55.32361; -2.51667 (Carter Fell)
Yarnspath Law 543 NT884133 55°24′45″N 2°11′00″W / 55.41250°N 2.18333°W / 55.41250; -2.18333 (Yarnspath Law)
Newton Tors: summit 537 NT908269 55°32′10″N 2°08′38″W / 55.53611°N 2.14389°W / 55.53611; -2.14389 (Newton Tors)
Girdle Fellpeak at Girdle Fell near White Crags 536 NT697017 55°18′35″N 2°28′40″W / 55.30972°N 2.47778°W / 55.30972; -2.47778 (Girdle Fell)
King's Seat[6] 531 NT879173 55°27′00″N 2°11′30″W / 55.45000°N 2.19167°W / 55.45000; -2.19167 (King's Seat)
Schill Moor 528 NT944153 55°25′50″N 2°05′15″W / 55.43056°N 2.08750°W / 55.43056; -2.08750 (Schill Moor)
Saughieside Hill, Black Hagpeak between Saughieside Hill and Black Hag 528 NT868241 55°30′30″N 2°12′35″W / 55.50833°N 2.20972°W / 55.50833; -2.20972 (Saughieside Hill, Black Hag)
Ravens Knowe 527 NT780062 55°21′00″N 2°20′45″W / 55.35000°N 2.34583°W / 55.35000; -2.34583 (Ravens Knowe)
Horten EdgePeak near Horden Edge Nuvola apps important.svg 527 NT786073 55°21′30″N 2°20′20″W / 55.35833°N 2.33889°W / 55.35833; -2.33889 (Horten Edge)
Preston Hill 526 NT923238 55°30′25″N 2°07′20″W / 55.50694°N 2.12222°W / 55.50694; -2.12222 (Preston Hill)
Scrathy Holes 521 NT638031 55°19′15″N 2°34′10″W / 55.32083°N 2.56944°W / 55.32083; -2.56944 (Scrathy Holes)
Newton Tors: Wester Tor 518 NT907273 55°32′50″N 2°08′40″W / 55.54722°N 2.14444°W / 55.54722; -2.14444 (Newton Tors)
Newton Tors: Hare Law 518 NT902265 55°31′50″N 2°09′00″W / 55.53056°N 2.15000°W / 55.53056; -2.15000 (Newton Tors: Hare Law)
Broadhope Hill 517 NT933234 55°30′15″N 2°06′20″W / 55.50417°N 2.10556°W / 55.50417; -2.10556 (Broadhope Hill)
Grey Mares Knowe 516 NT666003 55°17′40″N 2°31′30″W / 55.29444°N 2.52500°W / 55.29444; -2.52500 (Grey Mares Knowe)
Ogre Hill 516 NT777069 55°21′20″N 2°21′10″W / 55.35556°N 2.35278°W / 55.35556; -2.35278 (Ogre Hill)
Lamb Hill 511 NT811133 55°24′45″N 2°18′00″W / 55.41250°N 2.30000°W / 55.41250; -2.30000 (Lamb Hill)
Outer Golden Pot Nuvola apps important.svg 505 NT802072 55°21′30″N 2°18′45″W / 55.35833°N 2.31250°W / 55.35833; -2.31250 (Outer Golden Pot)
Shillhope Law 501 NT873097 55°22′50″N 2°12′00″W / 55.38056°N 2.20000°W / 55.38056; -2.20000 (Shillhope Law)

References[edit]

External links[edit]