Brim Fell is a fell in the English Lake District and stands to the
west of Coniston village in the southern part of the District.
The Coniston (or Furness) Fells form the watershed
between Coniston Water and the Duddon valley to the west.
range begins in the north at Wrynose Pass and runs south for around
10 miles before petering out at Broughton in Furness on the Duddon
The higher northern part of the Coniston range can be
likened to an inverted 'Y' with Brim Fell at the connecting point of the
To the north are Swirl How, Great Carrs and Grey
Friar, south east is the short spur terminating at The Old Man of
Coniston and to the south west the range continues over Dow Crag to the
lower hills beyond.
Brim Fell is unusual in having no footing on
the valley floor on either side of the ridge.
On the east its boundary
streams converge at 800 ft and the flanks of Coniston Old Man and
Wetherlam continue to the lake.
Above the Duddon, Brim Fell is nipped
off by Dow Crag and Grey Friar at an even greater altitude. The area of
the fell is therefore small, but full of interest.
slopes are relatively smooth and fall to Tarn Head Beck. This runs
parallel to the ridge and is the main feeder of Seathwaite Tarn, a
reservoir in a side valley of the Duddon system.
This was originally a
much smaller waterbody, but was dammed early in the 20th century to
provide drinking water for the Barrow in Furness area. The dam is almost
400 yards long and is concrete cored with slate buttresses, the
resulting depth of the tarn being around 80 ft.
Water is not abstracted
directly from the tarn, but flows some distance downriver to an off-take weir.
On the slopes of Brim Fell, above the head of the reservoir, are
the remains of Seathwaite Tarn Mine. This was worked for copper in the
mid 19th century, and also appears as a location in the novel The Plague
Dogs by Richard Adams.
The ridge north from Brim Fell narrows to
the depression at Levers Hawse (2,250 ft) before climbing again over the
rougher ground of Great How Crags to the summit of Swirl How.
south, trending south east across a broad plateau is The Old Man of
Coniston, the reascent being negligible.
Halfway between Brim Fell and
'The Old Man' a further ridge branches off due west, dropping steeply to
Goat's Hawse (2,130 ft), before swinging south around Goat's Water to
In contrast to the western slopes and ridge-top grass
promenade, the Coniston face is all crag.
A short high level spur juts
out from the summit, ending in the shattered cliffs of Raven Tor.
either side of this promontory is a corrie tarn, Low Water to the south
and Levers Water to the north.
Low Water is the smaller, its depth
increased by a stone faced dam built by the nearby slate quarries. The
outflow drops via a fine waterfall to join Levers Water Beck a mile down
Levers Water was also dammed in times past for industrial use
(in this case the Coniston Coppermines), but now provides domestic
supply for Coniston village. The stone faced dam has increased its depth
to some 125 ft.
Running parallel to the ridge below Low Water is an
unusual lateral valley, named "Boulder Valley" on Ordnance Survey maps
due to the number of large boulders on its floor.
The summit of
Brim Fell bears a fine slate cairn on grass, with a second big cairn to
the north east.
The views are extensive although the long whale-backed
ridge tends to limit the foreground.
Direct ascents are perhaps
unusual, most walkers traversing from "The Old Man" to Swirl How, but
The easiest access is from Coniston, climbing via
Levers Water to Levers Hawse. Pathless ascents of Raven Tor can also be
made from either side for a wilder finish.
The Walna Scar Road (Byway
open to all traffic) gives access to Goat's Hawse from either side of the
ridge and this is the easiest route from the Duddon.
Note that a right
of way shown descending west from Levers Hawse to Seathwaite Tarn on
Ordnance Survey maps does not exist as a path on the ground.
routes near Brim Fell