History

England's highest mountain to be restored

Scafell Pike's summit will be repaired to commemorate the peak's fascinating First World War history. Friday, 16 February

By Jonathan Manning

The paths and summit of England’s tallest mountain are to be repaired in commemoration of a fascinating First World War history.

Scafell Pike in Cumbria was donated to the National Trust in 1919 by Lake District landowner Charles Henry Wyndham, the 3rd Baron Leconfield.

He gave the mountain, “in perpetual memory of the men of the Lake District who fell for God and King, for freedom, peace and right in the Great War.”

A century on, the memorial plaque at the summit will be reset within a rebuilt summit cairn later this year. Lake District National Park Rangers plan to camp on the roof of England while they carry out the work.

Sir Chris Bonington, the British mountaineer who spent several years in the Royal Tank Regiment, said, “I can’t help but be inspired every time I return home to the Lakes, by its wildness and charm, and the challenges it presents. Beyond its staggering beauty, the Lake District has a rich cultural history and a web of fascinating stories.”

Lord Leconfield was an honorary member of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club, and Scafell Pike was the jewel in the crown of a ‘great gift’ by the club to the National Trust, which included a dozen more Lake District mountains; Lingmell, Broad Crag, Great End, Seathwaite Fell, Allen Crags, Glaramara, Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Green Gable, Base Brown, Brandreth and Grey Knotts.

The donation was a pivotal moment in sparking a series of endowments to the National Trust and paved the way for the creation of Britain’s first national park.

On the 11th November this year, the Trust will mark Armistice Day, by lighting a beacon on top of Scafell Pike.

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