The Helm

The Helm pictured above Helmside Cottages. Photo courtesy of Mike Chapman 14 June 2019.

This rocky ridge, which dominates the skyline at Oxenholme, is composed of Upper Silurian Kirkby Moor Flags and has been shaped and scoured by glacial activity.

Summit of the Helm. Copyright Roy Wall 30 May 2006 CCL2.0

At the summit (185m/607ft above sea level) stands the scheduled ancient monument of Castlesteads. It is believed to be an iron-age hillfort enclosed by banks and ditches built around 800BC by the best known of the Northern tribes, the Brigantes. The Brigantes (from which we get the word ‘brigand’) were said to be ‘as wild and uncultivated as their native hills’.

The effort of ascent to the summit is well rewarded by panoramic views to the Lakeland Fells, the Howgills, Morecambe Bay, the Lune Valley and Farleton Fell.

All access land on the Helm is privately owned. The western side of the Helm is registered common land and responsible public access has long been accepted. Helm commoners hold the grazing rights which are let to a single farmer.

The plot to the north-east is grazed and the bracken and gorse scrub in the south=east plot is valuable habitat for nesting birds.

Page last updated: 20 January 2020

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