Red Tarn (Helvellyn)

Type; Natural
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Location; below Helvellyn
Accessibility; Access Land
Grid Ref; NY 347 152
Elevation; 718m (2356 feet)
Size; 436 x 258 m (1420 x 850 feet)
Area; 8.66 hectares (21.4 acres)
Depth; 25m (82 feet)
Meaning of name;  
Alternative name(s);


This Red Tarn (for there are two of them in the Lakes, the other being above Oxendale in Great Langdale) lies deep in a corrie under the eastern side of Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in England. Enclosing it to the north is Swirral Edge whilst to the south is the famous Striding Edge. The most popular route up Helvellyn. Held back by glacial moraine, the tarn discharges to the east, Red Tarn Beck eventually joining with Glenridding Beck before flowing out into Ullswater.

In 1840, the moraine dam was raised with boulders to increase the water capacity for the Greenside lead mine further down the valley. Although the dam has been breached and the tarn returned to its natural level, the remains of the leats that carried water to the mine can still be seen.