The small volcanic 'lump' was occupied by a Neolithic hillfort, presumably guarding the mouth of Wrynose Pass.
Though the pass is the comparatively gentle (but still one of the steepest roads in the UK!) lead-in to the extremely steep Hardknott Pass (1-in-3, and not only in places – cyclists consider it the UK's hardest on-road ascent, and motor vehicles find the hairpin bends no easier), the name 'Wrynose' is derived from 'pass of the stallion', as it was thought only a strong horse would manage the trip.
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