Bellbeaver Rigg

Bellbeaver Rigg

Bellbeaver Rigg is the name given to the highest point of Tynehead Fell, a hill that as its name suggests is situated at the head of South Tynedale.

Height (m): 620.1
Height (ft): 2034
Prominence (m): 28.7
Classification: Nuttall
Hill No: 2763
Grid Ref: NY762350
OS Map OL31
No. of Visits 1, 2

Bellbeaver Rigg is a small and relatively dry oasis surrounded by the moist and peaty terrain of Tynehead Fell. There are two cairns about 150m apart from each other. The highest, marking the summit is the one to the north-west.

The top of Bellbeaver Rigg looking towards South Tynedale
The top of Bellbeaver Rigg looking towards South Tynedale

Although it is situated on the South Tyne / Tees watershed Bellbeaver Rigg is almost entirely surrounded by higher fells. To the east, on the other side of Yad Moss, is Burnhope Seat and Harwood Common. To the south is the slightly higher Viewing Hill and to the west, across the upper reaches of the Tees are the Pennine giants, Great Dun Fell, Little Dun Fell and Cross Fell. Only to a gap in the north is there a view of the valley of South Tynedale.

Bellbeaver Rigg from below the road over Yad Moss
Bellbeaver Rigg from below the road over Yad Moss

The quickest approach is via one of the laybys on the high road over Yad Moss. It involves a pathless crossing of the moor but isn’t too bad as long it is not attempted after a prolonged wet spell. Two routes approach the fell from South Tynedale. One follows the byway up alongside Clargill Burn towards Yad Moss before breaking away for another pathless trod across the moor.

Tynehead Fell from the track leading to the source of the River South Tyne
Tynehead Fell from the track leading to the source of the River South Tyne

Probably the easiest approach (and definitely the driest underfoot) is via the road end south of Garrigill. From there it is a relatively straightforward walk following a track (in reality a continuation of the road) to reach the sculpture marking the source of the River South Tyne. After another third of a mile a fence is encountered on the left. A thin path climbs up alongside a series of mounds that are old shafts. At the highest point of the fence it is then a simple walk to the summit cairn.

One of the disused shafts near the summit of Bellbeaver Rigg
One of the disused shafts near the summit of Bellbeaver Rigg

Bellbeaver Rigg isn’t the greatest looking fell, even by North Pennine standards. It is however the source of one of the Tynes, one of the great rivers of northern England and also overlooks the wilderness of the infant River Tees. It has clearly seen a lot of mining activity in the past and the line of disused shafts descending south-west from the summit are also of interest. There is also a small tarn near the highest of the disused shafts.

Looking towards the top of Bellbeaver Rigg from the small tarn near the summit
Looking towards the top of Bellbeaver Rigg from the small tarn near the summit

Bellbeaver Rigg Walks

5th June 2019 – Distance: 11.5 miles: Garrgill – Windshaw Bridge – Ashgill Force – Hole House – Tynehead – Calrgill Burn – Tynehead Fell – Bellbeaver Rigg – Source of the River South Tyne – Hill House – Crossgill – Garrigill.
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22nd September 2007 – Distance: 6.5 miles: Yad Moss – Crook Burn – Bellbeaver Rigg – Metalburn Hill – Crook Burn -Green Hurth – Viewing Hill – Holdenhurth Band – Yad Moss.
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