Gavel Fell is a hill in the English Lake District and
is centremost of the five Loweswater Fells in the western part of the
District. It stands between Hen Comb and Blake Fell and is of moderate
altitude which can be climbed from Loweswater village or from Croasdale
to the west.
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 are in effect, a
great horseshoe around this long wild valley. Gavel Fell and the other
Loweswater Fells form the extremity of the northern arm.
Loweswater Fells have been compared to the digits of a hand radiating
out south westward from the "palm" centred on Loweswater village. From
the west these are Burnbank Fell, Blake Fell, Gavel Fell, Hen Comb and
Mellbreak, the "thumb".
Gavel Fell being the "middle finger" has
a long ridge running south west from the valley. This rises gently at
first past High Nook farm, before accelerating its climb up the face of
Black Crag to the summit plateau.
A subsidiary top (1,601 ft) is
reached first, unnamed on Ordnance Survey maps but referred to as High
Nook in some guidebooks.
The ridge widens, damply and turns south
at the summit, dropping over a rough patch of ground named White Oak.
Beyond is Banna Fell (1,496 ft), which could lay claim to separate
status but is generally considered a subsidiary of Gavel Fell. Banna
Fell has a very prominent eastern top named Floutern Cop (1,480 ft).
On the Loweswater side, Gavel Fell is neatly contained by Highnook
Beck to the north west and Whiteoak Beck to the east. These merge
beneath the nose of the ridge at High Nook Farm, before joining Dub
Beck, the outflow of Loweswater.
One of the feeders of Highnook
Beck is High Nook Tarn, a small pool with a low earth dam.
are unusual in this part of the District, although Gavel Fell has a
share in a second on its southern boundary. This is Floutern Tarn, lying
beneath Floutern Cop. A long brooding pool with a depth of about 12 ft,
Floutern Tarn drains east and then north into the morass of Mosedale.
A walker's pass crosses beside Floutern providing access from
Buttermere to Ennerdale.
The western side follows Gill Beck, the
southern boundary of Gavel Fell. The western face of the fell is drained
by Croasdale Beck, a tributary of the Ehen.
The highest point of
Gavel Fell is marked by a large cairn on a grassy plateau. The view
seawards is blocked in part by Blake Fell, but there is a fine array of
fells eastward with the Grasmoor group forming the highlight.
ascent from Loweswater starts up the track to High Nook farm. At the
tarn, the walker can turn to either flank of the ridge to pass Black
Crag, before making for the summit.
From Croasdale the west ridge
of Banna Fell can be used, or a more direct line taken up Croasdale Beck
to White Oak.
Ascents via Floutern Pass can be soured by the
attitude of the landowner, who covets every last blade of grass.
routes near Gavel Fell