Brownley Hill

Brownley Hill

Brownley Hill is a hill situated in the North Pennines towards the northern end of the broad moorland ridge that divides West Allen Dale from East Allen Dale.

Height (m): 533
Height (ft): 1749
Prominence (m): 31
Classification: Dewey
Hill No: 3596
Grid Ref: NY802506
OS Map OL43
No. of Visits 1

Brownley Hill is situated on the broad moorland ridge descending from Killhope Law that divides East Allen Dale from West Allen Dale. Also marked on the map as Kevelin Moor it is one of three summits on the ridge, to the south is Knockshield Moor and to the north Acton Moor. All three stand over 500m in height but Brownley Hill is the only one that qualifies as a Dewey (Knockshield Moor fails to qualify by the smallest of margins).

Brownley Hill from the currick at the end of Whiteleyshield Carrs
Brownley Hill from the currick at the end of Whiteleyshield Carrs

Even by North Pennine standards it is not a well known or oft visited summit. Anyone attempting to find out more about it by searching on the internet will bring up lots results for a Brownley Hill Mine but, somewhat confusingly, this has nothing to do with the subject of this web page and instead refers to a mine near Nenthead over 3.5 miles away in the next valley.

The lower slopes of Brownley Hill near Limestone Brae
The lower slopes of Brownley Hill near Limestone Brae

On closer acquaintance though Brownley Hill is actually quite an interesting hill and is definitely worth a visit. The largely grassy summit features a trig point and several small loughs that, on my visit at least, seem to have become home to a large population of black headed gulls. On the eastern side of the summit a rash of rock overlooks the side valley of Acton Burn whilst on the western side the summit is lined by Greenleycleugh Crags, a modest rim of rock that runs for almost a quarter of a mile in length.

The trig point on the top of Brownley Hill
The trig point on the top of Brownley Hill

The views from the summit are extensive particularly to the north where, on a good day, the long line of Cheviot hills can be seen running from Deadwater Fell and Peel Fell near the head of Kielder Water all the way north-east to the unmistakable profile of The Cheviot itself. Perhaps the better panorama though is from Greenleycleugh Crags which also brings much of West Allen Dale in to view as well.

Enjoying the view from Greenleycleugh Crags
Enjoying the view from Greenleycleugh Crags

The Carrshield to Allendale Town road runs just below Greeleycleugh Crags and it is therefore a simple walk to the summit from the road. When I visited Brownley Hill I reached it via a long walk starting from the head of the valley at Coalcleugh and passed over the top Knockshield Moor.

Some random benches, presumably for grouse shooting, below Brownley Hill
Some random benches, presumably for grouse shooting, below Brownley Hill

Although largely pathless the route posed few difficulties with the exception of a boggy area just south of the summit which could potentially be quite moist after a wet spell. It should also be mentioned that this boggy area was also home to numerous golden plover and curlew. A rather curious feature when approaching from the south is a line of numbered benches at the col with Knockshield Moor, presumably these are very basic grouse butts.

Some of the small loughs on Brownley Hill
Some of the small loughs on Brownley Hill

With my visit to Brownley Hill I completed the list of North Pennine Deweys. I’ll admit that one of the reasons I’d left it until last is because I didn’t think it looked like a particularly interesting walk. I was happy to be proved wrong and it is definitely a hill I’d like to visit again in the future.


Brownley Hill Walks

17th May 2014 – Distance: 10.4 miles: Coalcleugh – Rushymea – Carrshield Moor – Three Curricks – Knockshield Moor – Whitleyshield Carrs – Brownley Hill – Taylorburn – Limestone Brae – The Bottoms – Jackson’s Fold – The Dodd – Sunnyside – Coalcleugh. View Walk Details >>


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