Mardale Ill Bell is a fell in the English Lake
District rising to the south west of Haweswater Reservoir.
stands on the watershed between Mardale and Kentmere and is the
highpoint of the south eastern ridge of High Street, midway on its
course to Harter Fell.
The head of the Kentmere valley lies to
the south west of the fell with rough slopes leading down over scree to
Mardale Ill Bell sends out a short grass
topped spur Lingmell End, which splits the head of the valley into two.
The north eastern face of Mardale Ill Bell forms the craggy backdrop
to Blea Water.
This perfect corrie tarn is the deepest in the
Lake District at 207 ft and its outflow feeds Haweswater, joining with
that of a second tarn Small Water.
Between the two, Mardale Ill
Bell throws out the rocky spur of Piot Crag and two tiers of crag drop
down to the confluence at Mardale Waters.
South east of the summit, a rough narrowing
ridge drops to Nan Blield pass at 2,100 ft, before rising again over
rocky steps to Harter Fell. Nan Bield was the ancient trading route
between Kentmere and the now drowned village of Mardale Green, submerged
by the raising of Haweswater in the 1940s.
Near the shore of
Small Water on the descending path, are a number of stone shelters,
pointers to the earlier importance of the pass. These each provide
refuge for one person in extremis, entrance being via crawling.
North west from Mardale Ill Bell, the grassy ridge
crosses a wet depression and then expands into a wide plateau triangular
High Street and Thornthwaite Crag are at the other two
corners with the roman road crossing north to south.
has two large cairns on grass, the northern one being the top.
The view westwards is confined by higher fells but the Ill Bell ridge
and Coniston range are seen to good effect.
Blea Water and Small
Water can be brought into sight from the rim of the crags.
most popular routes of ascent are on the Mardale side. From the road end
Nan Bield pass can be used, or the impressive scenery of Piot Crag can
be attained from the shore of either Blea or Small Water.
Kentmere, Nan Bield provides the obvious route although a pathless climb
up to the top of Lingmell End is possible.
routes near Mardale Ill Bell