Latest News: Non-delivery of bulk emails Read more

Latest News: Covid-19: Latest Government Guidance Read more

Latest News: News from the NEC - November 2021 Read more

Latest News: Change of Password recommended Read more

Latest News: Website cyber attack Read more

Latest News: We're Good To Go! Read more

Hillwalkers' Register 5

5A   The 500m+ Hills of England & Wales (the Deweys)

5B   The 500m+ Hills of the Lowlands of Scotland (the Donald Deweys)


Generically, a ‘Dewey’ is defined as a hill in the British Isles that is at least 500m (1,640.4ft) in height above mean sea level but below 609.6m (2,000ft), and is separated from adjacent hills by a drop of at least 30m (about 100ft) on all sides.  This concept was introduced by Michael Dewey in his book Mountain Tables (Constable, 1995). 

A SubDewey is a hill in the same height range, but with a drop between 20m and 29.9m.  For the purposes of a claim, SubDeweys do not have to be visited.  However it might be wise to visit those with drops only just below 30m, in case later surveys promote them !

You may wonder about these limits (500m and 609.6m).  The reason is that, very sensibly, Michael Dewey chose 500m as the lower height limit.  However, most previous lists in England & Wales adopted 2,000ft as their lower height limit.  So by adopting 609.6m (exactly 2,000ft) as the upper limit, he ensured that no hill could be in both Register 1 and Register 5A.  (A very small number of hills have been moved between these registers as a result of precision surveys.)  The fairly obvious change of making the lower limit for the 2,000ft Registers 600m (1,968.5ft) has not yet found favour with hillwalkers:  we seem to be a conservative (small c) lot.

Michael Dewey’s original list covered England, Wales and the Isle of Man only, and so these hills are known as ‘Deweys’, without qualification.  The equivalent hills in southern Scotland are known as Donald Deweys (see below).  In Ireland the equivalent hills are called Myrddyn Deweys, and in the Highlands of Scotland they are known as Highland Fives.  The Hillwalkers’ Register does not record completion of the Myrddyn Deweys or the Highland Fives, but I understand that Ken Whyte has completed the former list.  As the Highland Fives list include The Old Man of Storr and a couple of other extremely pointy bits on Skye, it is unlikely that any walker has visited all of them.


Register 5A:   The Deweys

The original list in Michael Dewey’s book Mountain Tables comprised 373 hills.  Careful study of Ordnance Survey maps over the following six years increased this number to 442, but later surveys ‘on the ground’ showed that some of these hills did not qualify (for varying reasons).  As at the end of 2017, there are 426 Deweys in England, Wales and the Isle of Man, and only 13 people had reported as ascending them all.  

As the current list is so much larger than the original, a claim based on just 373 hills is no longer accepted.  Your claim should be based on the list in DoBIH:  alternatively, for the most up-to-date list of the Deweys (available as an electronic copy only, sent by email attachment) email .  Note that for the Deweys (unlike Register 1) a claim must include the five qualifying hills on the Isle of Man.

A “Table of Progress” of hillwalkers’ achievements on the Deweys is published each April in the Hillwalkers' Register Annual Report, as an incentive to those working towards a Dewey completion.  To submit a progress report, a Claim Form is not required.  Just email the Recorder ( ) towards the end of the year giving details of the number of Deweys climbed during the year, and your current total.  (Giving both numbers just assists the Recorder to sort out any discrepancies.)

It is standard HR practice that we do not require people to risk their lives on what would be regarded as ‘rock climbs’, even at a low grade.  This is a Hillwalkers’ Register, not a climbing one !  Of course, that is not to stop you reaching these more difficult tops if you feel fully confident to do so.  So, in the context of the Deweys, a completion without the ascent of the tor on the summit of Great Links Tor (a genuine rock climb) on Dartmoor is acceptable;  please state whether or not this was climbed when submitting the Claim Form.  A visit to the true summit is very acceptable, but a visit to the trig point is adequate for an entry to the Register.


Register 5B:   The Donald Deweys

This list has exactly the same definition as the Deweys (above) except that the hills are in the Lowlands of Scotland rather than in England or Wales.  The Lowlands are defined as being on or north of the border with England, but south of the Highland Fault.  Without wishing to get into a debate about the precise geological line of the Fault, for the purposes of this list it runs from Helensburgh, east-north-east to Callander and through Glen Artney to Blairgowrie, and then on to the North Sea just north of Stonehaven.  Hills on the Isle of Arran are not required for a claim.

The list was originally compiled by David Purchase (the current HR Recorder) in 2001.  It included many hills which are Donald SubDeweys, and hence not required for a claim.  Later work suggests that there are 248 Donald Deweys.  Of course there may still be a few hills currently classified as Donald Deweys which don’t qualify, or vice versa .

As for the name, the compiler did not think that “Purchases” was a sensible name for a list of hills.  On the other hand, these hills meet the Dewey criteria, but are in the Lowlands of Scotland (the region defined by Percy Donald for his 1935 list of 2,000ft hills, known as the Donalds), so “Donald Dewey” seemed appropriate.  It helped acceptability north of the Border that the name was so reminiscent of the first First Minister of Scotland, Donald Dewar !

It should be mentioned that five Deweys are exactly on the border.  You need to climb them for either Register (5A or 5B), but you do not need to climb them twice for an entry in both Registers.  There are no Donald Deweys needing climbing skills, but some (especially in Galloway) are remote, involve river crossings, and require good navigational skills.

By 2010, only two walkers had climbed all the Donald Deweys.  But in 2015 there was a sudden flurry of activity, and at the end of that year the total was up to six.  Rob Woodall, one of those completers, thus became the first person to claim entry into all ten registers.  Two more completers in 2016 brought the total up to eight, both also entering all ten registers.

As with the Deweys, a “Table of Progress” is published each April in the HR Annual Report.




The Database of British and Irish Hills Web-site.  This contains the most up-to-date lists of both Deweys and Donald Deweys.

Dewey 1995: Mountain Tables by Michael Dewey (Constable, 1995). This book contains the original list of 373 hills, the “500m Tops of England & Wales” that have become known as the Deweys.  This list is no longer regarded as acceptable for a Dewey claim.

Dewey 2001:

As explained above, the original list of 373 hills has been superseded by a list of over 425 hills.  For convenience these are referred to as ‘Dewey 2001’.  Any completion based on a list dated 2001 or later is acceptable for a Dewey claim.

For the most up-to-date list of the Deweys, see DoBIH.

Purchase: The Donald Deweys by David Purchase (2001, with very minor amendments since then).  Unpublished, but freely available as an email attachment (email for a copy).  As the changes have been so few, any list of Donald Deweys is acceptable for a claim.


The 500m+ Tops of England & Wales (Deweys)

No. Nameclick to sort Sex List(s) Last Summit Great Links Tor Rnds First Finishclick to sort
1 Rob Woodall M Dewey 1995 Arant Haw Yes 1 7 Nov 1998
2 Bob Garrett M Dewey 2001 Swinklebank Crag   1 23 Jul 2004
3 Graham Illing M Dewey 2001 Wether Cairn Yes 1 19 Jul 2008
4 Andy Sutton M Dewey 2001 Dunmoor Hill Yes 1 6 Apr 2009
5 David Purchase M Dewey 2001 Castle Knott   1 3 Jun 2009
6 Anton Ciritis M Dewey 2001 Graig Goch   1 12 Sep 2009
7 Carole Engel F Dewey 2001 High Snockrigg   1 14 Jun 2010
8 Mick Moore M Dewey 2001 Great Links Tor Yes 1 4 Aug 2012
9 John Kirk M Dewey 2001 Foel Lwyd Yes 1 20 Oct 2012
10 Andy West M Dewey 2001 Monkside Yes 1 25 Aug 2013
11 Michael Earnshaw M DoBIH Ffordd Gefn (Bryn Gwyn) Yes 1 4 May 2016
12 Steven Turnbull M DoBIH Naughtberry Hill Yes 1 16 Jul 2016
13 Graeme Crowe M DoBIH High Dodd Yes 1 1 Oct 2016
14 Gerry Bowes M DoBIH Graig Goch Yes 1 29 May 2018
15 Jeff Parr M DoBIH Foel Uchaf Yes 1 30 Aug 2020


The 500m+ Tops of the Lowlands of Scotland (The Donald Deweys)

No. Nameclick to sort Sex List(s) Last Summit Rnds First Finishclick to sort
1 Walter Baxter M Purchase Dob's Craig 1 13 Jul 2003
2 Andy Hyams M Purchase Horse Hope Hill 1 23 Feb 2009
3 Colin Crawford M DoBIH Mount Maw 1 25 Aug 2013
4 Alan Castle M Purchase Callaw Cairn 1 22 Aug 2015
5 Chris Bienkowski M DoBIH Birkside Law 1 29 Nov 2015
6 Rob Woodall M DoBIH Birkside Law 1 29 Nov 2015
7 Michael Earnshaw M DoBIH Newby Kipps 1 6 Jun 2016
8 Bernie Hughes M DoBIH Little Millyea 1 11 Jun 2016
9 Bob Garrett M Purchase Little Millyea 1 10 Oct 2016
10 Carole Engel F DoBIH West Lomond 1 7 Oct 2017
11 Gerry Bowes M DoBIH Fastheugh Hill 1 2 Oct 2020

This website uses cookies

To comply with EU Directives we are informing you that our website uses cookies for services such as memberships and Google Analytics.

Your data is completely safe and we do not record any personally identifiable information.

Please click the button to acknowledge and approve our use of cookies during your visit.

Learn more about the Cookie Law