Howns Gill Quarry

Climbs 72 – Rocktype Sandstone (soft) – Altitude 200m a.s.l – Faces W

Crag features
A large sandstone quarry 25 metres in places. The rock is soft and the top section consists of layers of shale and poor sandstone. Very dodgy indeed. Top roping and peg protection are commonplace. There is bouldering in some excavated caves.

The owner is concerned about liability and placed NO ENTRY signs in Nov 2003 to discourage climbing.

Malcolm Lowerson was responsible for recording the routes at Howns Gill although some of the routes may have been climbed before Malcolm started his records during the 1980ís. Malcolm has led all the routes but only after careful. Leading at Howns Gill is not recommended due to the unstable nature of the shale band that runs across the upper section of the crag.

Approach notes
take the A692 from Consett towards Castleside, after 1ile, opposite the Stanefordham Arms pub, follow a track through allotments to a parking place. A right of way leads across fieds to the Howns Gill Viaduct. Go under this, follow the LH path when it divides, into woodland until the quarry is visible on the left.

Read more... Regional Access notes are available from the BMC.


Out of print: North East England (2003), North of England Rock Climbs (1992)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
1The AreteHVS 5a 1
3PupVD 1
4FangMVS 4c 3
5Doggy BagE2 5c 1
6ChokerMVS 4c  
7Cold Nose CornerVS 5a 1
8Dog EndE3 5c 1
9Distemper WallVS 5a 2
10FoxyHVS 5b 3
12HardpadMVS 5a 4
13The SnarlE1 5b 1
14The GrowlE1 5b 1
15The EyrieE2 5c 1
16The WhimperE1 5b 1
17Mad DogE1 5b 2
18Plague DogsE4 6b 1
19The BarkE3 6a 1
20The BiteE2 5c 1
21BloodhoundHS 4b 4
22Watch DogE1 1
23The HowlE2 5c 1
24Hound TrialHVS 5a 2
25The WhineE2 5c 2
26The BitchE1 5b 1
27The Bitch DirectE1 5c 1
28The WolfMVS 5b 3
29VixenE2 5c 3
31Watercolour CornerHS 4b 1
32Daubers' DelightVS 4c 1
33Nom De PlumeVS 4c 1
34Initial WallHVS 5a 1
35DoodlerHVS 5a 1
36Heavy Make-upE2 5c 1
37Heavy BreathingE3 6a 1
39Obscene Phone CallE3 6a 1
40CorinthianE1 5b 2
42Lipstick TracesHVS 5c *3
44Rising DawnE4 6b 1
45Edge of DarknessE4 6b 1
46Rib & RoofE3 6a 1
47WildmanE1 5b 1
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USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
The "no entry" sign and fence at the top is long gone since the new bridge works (not that it stopped anyone, as there are plenty of ways in and out of this quarry). Access is easy from the top or bottom of the viaduct.
martinph78 - 15/Aug/13
Had look at thrising wall section today. After clearing some brambles it's not that overgrown, but certainly think that the holds aren't what they used to be. Example Aniseed Trail HS 4b seems to have some very rounded or flakey bits where holds once were! Sorry, but there are two less now than yesterday. Enjoying working the venue but I do think that the easier grades on the initial corner and rising wall are now harder than they once were for many of the climbs. Looking at run-off/weathering etc many ledges are smooth and rounded where I imagine they were once more angular (and useable) and there are some very flaky bits that may once have been holds?
martinph78 - 01/Nov/12
Worth a look if you are local, but definiately not a place to lead climb. Loose at the top mean "topping out" isn't really an option. Holds break of easily so make sure your belayer wears a helmet!
martinph78 - 23/Oct/12
I met the guy who owns the land when I worked in a local pub and he said he really didn't want people climbing there due to access and insurance reasons.
melmyo - 15/Apr/09
Pictures and guide at
mad matt - 16/Apr/05