Tarn Crag is a fell in the English Lake
District located to the east of Longsleddale in the Far Eastern Fells.
(There is also another Tarn Crag in the Central Fells near Grasmere).
North of Sadgill, the valley of Longsleddale narrows considerably
with walls of crag on either side. The most prominent feature on the
eastern side being Buckbarrow Crag.
Above this and set back out
of sight from the valley is a second tier of rock, Tarn Crag. Situated
near to the summit, this has given its name to the fell as a whole.
Tarn Crag is generally held to mark the transition from Lakeland to
Pennine country. Away from the fierce western flank the fell falls in
long easy slopes of coarse grass and heather with little outcropped rock
The northern boundary of the fell is formed by the
walkers pass from Longsleddale to Mosedale which crosses a marshy
depression at 1,555 ft.
Mosedale beck has its source here
beginning its long journey north east to Swindale.
depression the ground rises again northward up Selside Brow to Branstree,
the highest Lakeland top east of Longsleddale.
South of Tarn Crag
is another boggy col separating the fell from its near twin Grey Crag.
This holds the diminutive Greycrag Tarn, actually a series of small
pools on the bed of a larger body of water. The tarn empties into
Longsleddale via Galeforth Gill but issuing eastwards from the same
marsh is Little Mosedale Beck.
Mosedale and Little Mosedale Becks
meet a mile to the north east of Tarn Crag, defining its eastern
boundaries. A descending ridge makes for the confluence over Brunt
Tongue where a small patch of conifer plantation makes this point
distinguishable from miles around. There are few other trees in this
A fence crosses the fell just east of the
summit and this runs along
the Sleddale Fells from Selside Pike in the north to Grey Crag and its
satellite Harrop Pike in the south. This boundary provides an aid to
route finding in poor conditions.
Another man made feature near
to the summit is the remains of a surveying pillar. This unusual stone
and concrete construction is cleft at the top to provide a sight line
and was originally surrounded by a wooden frame, now decayed. This is
one of four such pillars built during the construction of the Haweswater
Below Branstree and Tarn Crag is the first section of
the pipeline carrying water from the reservoir toward Manchester. The
tunnel, some 1,300 ft below the summit, required 250 tons of gelignite
for blasting and when constructed in the 1930s was the longest such
pipeline in Britain. It emerges into Longsleddale below Great Howe where
the spoil can still be seen.
The view from the grassy summit is
disappointing in terms of fells but a wide vista from Morecambe Bay to
the Pennines opens up in other directions. A portion of Windermere is
visible to the south west.
Tarn Crag can be climbed from
Longsleddale via Great Howe or from a point north of Buckbarrow Crag.
Longer approaches from Swindale or Shap via Brunt Tongue are also
routes near Tarn Crag - Longsleddale