Yewbarrow is a fell, in the English Lake District, which lies immediately north of the head of Wast Water. It is 628 metres (2,060 feet) high and in shape resembles the upturned hull of a boat or a barrow. Yewbarrow is on the left in the classic view of Great Gable and Wast Water.


Yewbarrow (left) from Wast Water
Highest point
Elevation 628 m (2,060 ft)
Prominence c.142 m (466 ft)
Listing Hewitt, Wainwright, Nuttall



Location in the Lake District

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Location in Copeland Borough

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Location Cumbria, England
Parent range Lake District, Western Fells
OS grid NY173084
Topo map OSLandrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6

The top of Stirrup Crag forms a second summit 616 metres (2,021 feet) high, half a mile north of the main summit. The Hewitt and Nuttall lists classify the Yewbarrow North Top as a separate summit.

The name is derived from the past prevalence of yew trees on the fell and its “barrow” shape.[citation needed]

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The Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District, bordered by the River Cocker to the north-east and Wasdale to the south-east. Westwards the hills diminish toward the coastal plain of Cumberland. At the central hub of the high country are Great Gable and its satellites, while two principal ridges fan out on either flank of Ennerdale, the western fells in effect being a great horseshoe around this long wild valley.[1] Yewbarrow is an outlier of the southern arm.

The main watershed runs broadly westwards from Great Gable, dividing the headwaters of Ennerdale and Wasdale. Travelling in this direction the principal hills are Kirk Fell, Pillar, Scoat Fell, Haycock and Caw Fell. Scoat Fell throws out a long southern ridge terminating in Yewbarrow, with Red Pike standing part way along.

The southern end of Yewbarrow rises steeply from the shore of Wastwater, the crest of the fell running a little east of north for about two miles. Just beyond the second top, the ridge swings sharply to the west at the depression of Dore Head (475 m. / 1,560 ft) continuing then onto Red Pike. The strath of Wasdale Head forms the eastern boundary of the fell with the quiet valley of Over Beck to the west. The ridge-top is rimmed by crags, particularly above Over Beck, and at either end. Stirrup Crag lies below the north summit, sometimes lending its name to the top, while Dropping Crag and Bell Rib guard the southern end of the crest.

Listed summits of Yewbarrow
Name Grid ref Height Status
Yewbarrow North Top NY175091 616 m (2,020 ft) Hewitt

The summit is formed from the tuff, lapilli-tuff and breccia of the Lingmell Formation. The eastern slopes display the rhyolitic rocks of the Long Top Member and Crinkle Member. The crags on the western face are outcrops of the plagioclase-phyric andesitelavas of the Birker Fell Formation.[2]

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