HILL walker and author Jeff Kent is claiming to be the first-ever person to identify, list and get to the top of all the county’s 65 independent 1,000-foot peaks.
Mr Kent - who is best known for his insight and annual tours of Leek's famous Double Sunset - initially used relevant Ordnance Survey maps to compile the list of peaks and then established the precise heights of all the summits in feet and metres from facilities available on the www.getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk website.
Finally, from April 1 to 31 December 2012, Jeff reached the summits of all the 65 listed peaks, becoming the first-known person to achieve the feat. However, if anyone has achieved the target previously, Jeff is asking that they make themselves and their evidence known.
The summits included in Jeff’s list are all natural features, some of which are topped by tumuli, within the county boundaries of Staffordshire and are at least 1,000 feet above mean sea level.
As in the Nuttall formula for English peaks, Jeff has listed all the 1,000-foot summits in Staffordshire with a relative height of 15 metres/49.212 feet.
The relative height of a hill is the vertical distance between its summit and the lowest contour line encircling it, within which there is no higher peak.
In addition, the 1,000-foot hills named on relevant Ordnance Survey maps, which have a summit, but do not satisfy the relative height criterion, are also included in Jeff’s list, for example Brund Hill, which is actually an outlier of Bareleg Hill.
Finally listed is Cheeks Point, which is not a peak at all, being on Cheeks Hill, just south-West of its Derbyshire summit, but is the highest point in Staffordshire.
Excluded from the list are named hills without summits and man-made features except for tumuli, such as buildings, reservoirs and quarries.
The 65 peaks consist of 38 already named summits and 27 which appear to be unnamed.
As a result, Jeff has given provisional names to the latter, which he intends to continue to use in his register, unless persuasive evidence of existing names of the features is forthcoming.
Of course, Jeff does not believe that the hardships he suffered in order to conquer the peaks of the Staffordshire Highlands are remotely comparable with those endured by mountaineers in the Himalayas.
However, his ultimate success was not without its problems, especially having to contend with barbed wire fences, obstructive landowners, marauding animals and the weather of the wettest year ever recorded in England, with the consequent swamps that appeared.
Jeff’s journey began in warm sunshine on 1 April 2012 with the ascent of the steep scarp slope of The Cloud, a dramatic-shaped hill, with excellent views across the Cheshire Plain, and ended on New Year’s Eve with a trek back to the car from Cheeks Hill in twilight in dense fog and a deluge.
In between were many moments of elation, difficulty, disappointment, astonishment and amusement as the ascent of the 65 peaks became a story in itself.
During the project, Jeff climbed the huge Yawning Stone, with the aid of a ladder, only to find that when he got to the top it wasn’t the summit of Gradbach Hill; he encountered a herd of llamas just below Ramshaw Rocks; on a walk to Ossoms Hill, he nonchalantly made notes standing right in front of a bull, without realising it; he and his walking partner, Sue Bell, struggled to stand up in a gale near the summit of Bunster Hill and he stood petrified whilst being photographed (unnecessarily, as it turned out) on the top of Mow Cop Folly Rocks, with a forty-foot drop below.
Being a modest individual, Jeff has decided not to name Staffordshire’s 1,000-foot peaks after himself, but in honour of his parents, Cyril and Helen Kent, who loved the Staffordshire hills.
Consequently, Jeff has decided to name the 65 peaks the Staffordshire Kents.
Jeff is currently working on and intending later this year to publish a book about Staffordshire’s 1,000-foot peaks.
To prove his achievement, Jeff has posted on www.flickr.com 80 dated photographs of himself on the summits of the 65 peaks and related features. They can be found on the website under the tags staffordshires1000footpeaks and Staffordshire’s1000-FootPeaks.
Jeff is requesting anyone who has knowledge of existing names for any of them to contact him.
For further information, please contact Jeff on 01782 791673 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE STAFFORDSHIRE KENTS STAFFORDSHIRE’S 1,000-FOOT PEAKS (DETAILS FROM OS GETAMAP)
1. (Cheeks Point), 1,705.38 feet/519.80 metres – SK 026699, the highest point in Staffordshire. [Cheeks Hill summit is in Derbyshire, 1,709.32 feet/521.00 metres – SK 026700].
2. Oliver Hill, 1,681.43 feet/512.50 metres – SK 027675.
3. The Roaches, 1,659.78 feet/505.90 metres – SK 001638.
4. (Merryton Hill), 1,595.80 feet/486.40 metres – SK 041610.
5. Bareleg Hill, 1,561.68 feet/476.00 metres – SK 028641.
6. Brund Hill, 1,545.28 feet/471.00 metres – SK 028646.
7. (Morridge East Top), 1,531.50 feet/466.80 metres – SK 035589.
8. (Morridge West Top), 1,529.20 feet/466.10 metres – SK 029594.
9. Ramshaw Rocks, 1,512.14 feet/460.90 metres – SK 020624.
10. (East Roaches Ridge), 1,495.73 feet/455.90 metres – SK 022640.
11. (Ann Roach), 1,482.61 feet/451.90 metres – SK 021655.
12. Round Knowl, 1,449.15 feet/441.70 metres – SK 053624.
13. Turn Edge, 1,425.20 feet/434.40 metres – SK 011676.
14. Willshaw Hill, 1,398.95 feet/426.40 metres – SK 050663.
15. (Long Hill), 1,390.09 feet/423.70 metres – SK 051585.
16. Gib Torr Rocks, 1,364.83 feet/416.00 metres – SK 018647.
17. Hen Cloud, 1,328.41 feet/404.90 metres – SK 008615.
18= Blackstone Edge, 1,315.29 feet/400.90 metres – SK 050644.
18= Revidge, 1,315.29 feet/400.90 metres – SK 077599.
20. Gradbach Hill, 1,309.06 feet/399.00 metres – SK 000653.
21. Barrow Moor, 1,286.75 feet/392.20 metres – SK 054645.
22. Ipstones Edge, 1,263.12 feet/385.00 metres – SK 045504.
23. Gun, 1,250.98 feet/381.30 metres – SK 970615.
24. Sheen Hill, 1,233.92 feet/376.10 metres – SK 110625.
25. Grindon Moor, 1,233.60 feet/376.00 metres – SK 070551.
26. (Hays Hill), 1,219.82 feet/371.80 metres – SK 057575.
27. Weaver Hills, 1,217.19 feet/371.00 metres – SK 094463.
28. (Kent Hill), 1,214.24 feet/370.10 metres – SK 113565.
29. Narrowdale Hill, 1,204.40 feet/367.10 metres – SK 123572.
30. Ecton Hill, 1,200.79 feet/366.00 metres – SK 099580.
31. Gratton Hill, 1,190.94 feet/363.00 metres – SK 132571.
32. Longnor Edge, 1,189.63 feet/362.60 metres – SK 078661.
33. (Ribden Hill), 1,189.30 feet/362.50 metres – SK 076477.
34. The Hills, 1,183.73 feet/360.80 metres – SK 071639.
35. Wetton Hill, 1,174.21 feet/357.90 metres – SK 104562.
36. (Musden Hill), 1,173.88 feet/357.80 metres – SK 118500.
37. (Bell Hill), 1,168.31 feet/356.10 metres – SK 108559.
38. Soles Hill, 1,154.86 feet/352.00 metres – SK 097525.
39. Golden Hill, 1,151.57 feet/351.00 metres – SK 050565.
40. (Slade Hill), 1,145.01 feet/349.00 metres – SK 107513.
41. (Cart Hill), 1,144.36 feet/348.80 metres – SK 104510.
42. (Lees Ridge), 1,139.76 feet/347.40 metres – SK 101569.
43. (Oldfields Hill), 1,137.47 feet/346.70 metres – SK 084528.
44. (Knowsley Cross Hill), 1,128.28 feet/343.90 metres – SK 101640.
45. The Cloud, 1,120.73 feet/341.60 metres – SJ 904636.
46. (Pea Hill), 1,118.77 feet/341.00 metres – SK 129565.
47. Ilam Tops, 1,112.53 feet/339.10 metres – SK135526.
48. Lask Edge, 1,102.36 feet/336.00 metres – SJ 915593.
49. (Hazelton Hill), 1,099.08 feet/335.00 metres – SK 125498.
50. Ossoms Hill, 1,096.13 feet/334.10 metres – SK 092553.
51. Mere Hill, 1,089.57 feet/332.10 metres – SK 105525.
52. Mow Cop, 1,086.29 feet/331.10 metres – SJ 858575.
53. Sharpcliffe Rocks, 1,082.02 feet/329.80 metres – SK 016519.
54. Bunster Hill, 1,079.07 feet/328.90 metres – SK 142506.
55. (Bincliff Hill), 1,076.12 feet/328.00 metres – SK 116541.
56. (Gateham Hill), 1,055.12 feet/321.60 metres – SK 115570.
57. (Steep Hill), 1,054.13 feet/321.30 metres – SK 123561.
58= (Bridestones Hill), 1,052.82 feet/320.90 metres – SJ 908626.
58= (Wetton Low Hill), 1,052.82 feet/320.90 metres – SK 112547.
60. Long Edge, 1,043.64 feet/318.10 metres – SJ 908617.
61. Cliff Top, 1,036.75 feet/316.00 metres – SK 136481.
62. (Stanshope Hill), 1,025.92 feet/312.70 metres – SK 134540.
63. (Paddock Hill), 1,023.95 feet/312.10 metres – SK 111573.
64. Troughstone Hill, 1,016.73 feet/309.90 metres – SJ 905596.
65. (Martin’s Hill), 1,003.28 feet/305.80 metres – SK 069529.
* The names in brackets are those proposed by Jeff Kent, the list creator, for apparently unnamed Staffordshire 1,000-foot peaks and will continue to be used in his register of summits unless persuasive evidence of existing names of the features is forthcoming.
STAFFORDSHIRE’S UNNAMED 1,000-FOOT PEAKS PROPOSED NAMES
1. SJ 908626, Bridestones Hill (after the nearby Bridestones to the south-southwest of it).
2. SK 021655, Ann Roach (as marked on old Ordnance Survey maps).
3. SK 022640, East Roaches Ridge (because it’s a rocky ridge, east of The Roaches, and there are no nearby places or landmarks to name it after).
4. SK 026699, Cheeks Point (after Cheeks Hill, which it’s on, and because it’s at the spot where the Staffordshire boundary with Derbyshire comes to a point).
5. SK 029594, Morridge West Top (because it’s the more westerly of two proximate summits of Morridge of near-identical height).
6. SK 035589, Morridge East Top (because it’s the more easterly of two proximate summits of Morridge of near-identical height).
7. SK 041610, Merryton Hill (after Merryton Low, which is on its summit).
8. SK 051585, Long Hill (because it’s a long hill and there is no nearby place or landmark to name it after except Hill House!).
9. SK 057575, Hays Hill (after the nearby Brund Hays and Hayes Farm, which is a little further distant. The name Brund Hays would potentially cause confusion with already existing Brund Hill.).
10. SK 069529, Martin’s Hill (after the nearby Martin’s Low to the southeast of the summit).
11. SK 076477, Ribden Hill (after the nearby disused Ribden Mine to the south-southeast of it).
12. SK 084528, Oldfields Hill (after the nearby Oldfields Farm to the west-northwest of it).
13. SK 101569, Lees Ridge (after the nearby Lees Farm, to the east of it, and because it’s a ridge).
14. SK 101640, Knowsley Cross Hill (after the nearby Knowsley Cross to the east of the summit).
15. SK 104510, Cart Hill (after Cart Low, which is on its summit).
16. SK 107513, Slade Hill (after the nearby Slade House to the south of it).
17. SK 108559, Bell Hill (after Sue Bell, who accompanied Jeff Kent on the 2012 Staffordshire 1,000-foot peaks walks, and because there are no nearby places or landmarks to name it after).
18. SK 111573, Paddock Hill (after the nearby Paddock House Farm to the northwest of it).
19. SK 112547, Wetton Low Hill (after Wetton Low, which is on its summit. It can’t be called Wetton Hill because a hill with that name already exists, whereas this hill is the lower of the two Wetton Hills.).
20. SK 113565, Kent Hill (after Jeff Kent’s parents, Cyril and Helen Kent, who loved the Manifold Valley and Dove Dale area, and because there are no nearby places or landmarks to name it after.).
21. SK 115570, Gateham Hill (after the nearby Gateham Grange, Gateham and Gateham Farm to the southeast of it).
22. SK 116541, Bincliff Hill (after the nearby disused Bincliff Mines to the southwest of it).
23. SK 118500, Musden Hill (after Musden Low, which is on its summit).
24. SK 123561, Steep Hill (after Steep Low, which is on its summit).
25. SK 125498, Hazelton Hill (after Hazelton Clump, a copse, which is on its summit).
26. SK 129565, Pea Hill (after the nearby Pea Low, which is to the southeast of it).
27. SK 134540, Stanshope Hill (after the nearby Stanshope village and nearer Stanshope Pasture).
* The names are those proposed by Jeff Kent, who first identified the above features as 1,000-foot peaks of Staffordshire in 2012, and will continue to be used in his register of summits unless persuasive evidence of existing names of the features is forthcoming.