Great Cockup seen from Longlands Fell with the bulk of Skiddaw behind.
|Elevation||526 m (1,726 ft)|
|Prominence||c. 85 m|
|Range||Lake District, Northern Fells|
|Topo map||OS Landranger 89, 90 OS Explorer 4|
Great Cockup reaches a height of 526 m (1,726 ft) and merits a chapter in Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells who describes the fell as functional rather than ornamental, writing:
"Viewed from a distance Great Cockup appears as a modest but extensive eminence with no obvious summit and nothing calling for closer inspection. First impressions are confirmed by a tour of exploration, the fell underfoot proving no more attractive than the fell at a distance."
The fell is known as "Great" to distinguish it from its smaller neighbour 'Little Cockup' which lies on its north western shoulder overlooking the hamlet of Orthwaite with a height of 395 metres (1296 feet).
The fell's name originates from the Old English language, a combination of the words 'cocc' and 'hop' where 'hop' means a 'secluded valley' and 'cocc' means a Woodcock or Black Grouse. So the translation is probably 'larger fell above the secluded valley where Woodcock or Black Grouse are found'. Whaley points out that this is the meaning "with the valley name being transferred to the hills, but without more evidence this cannot be proven." 
The fell's name quite often causes mirth because of its slight rudeness and reference to sexual slang. Cockup can mean a mistake in the British English language and the fell was visited by British television personality Denis Norden for one edition of his TV show It'll be Alright on the Night, a programme which consists of out-takes from film and television which he calls "Cockups". The programme was called Alright on the Night's Cockup Trip and was broadcast in 1996. The fell's unusual name has also been adopted for a local beer brewed by the Hesket Newmarket Brewery, called "Great Cockup Porter" a dark coloured stout with an ABV of 3.3%.
Topography and Land Use
The fell has a series of stone built grouse butts 500 metres west of the summit, some of which have been dismantled leaving just the foundations in the ground and can be confusing to walkers as to their original purpose. The lower southern slopes of the fell has a large, isolated boulder which is marked on large scale maps, this is thought to be an erratic left by a retreating glacier. The fell has also yielded some rare fossils with unusual forms of dendroid graptolites being found on the slopes.
Great Cockup is almost always ascended from the hamlet of Orthwaite following the bridleway up Hause Gill for two kilometres and then leaving it and ascending Great Cockup's steep southern slopes to the summit. A direct ascent over Little Cockup is possible but the bracken can be thick at certain times of the year. Great Cockup is linked to Meal Fell, 1.5 kilometres to the east, by the pass of Trusmadoor.
- Wainwright, A (,2008). A pictorial guide to the Lakeland fells. Book 5: The Northern fells (2nd ed.:revised by Chris Jesty ed.). London: Frances Lincoln. p. 'Great Cockup : natural features'. ISBN 9780711224667.
- Whaley, Diana (2006). A dictionary of Lake District place-names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society. pp. lx,423 p.78. ISBN 0904889726.
- Graptolite bearing rocks on Great Cockup
- Hesket Newmarket Brewery
- Alright on the Night's Cockup Trip 1996