Witches' Quarry

Climbs 88 – Rocktype Limestone – Altitude 300m a.s.l – Faces N

Crag features
Some kind person has made the belay points at the top of routes(Broomstick,Jennet, Coven Crack, Thrutch.) much easier to find, thanks. However bolt hangers are missing from the belay above serenity,is there a reason for this ?

The bolt belays above Witch Arete and above The Reeve were replaced on 16th May 2011. I'll check the hanger situation.

8 may 2012 - Bolt hangers above serenity have been replaced with new ones. Also there seems to be 4 brand new belay stakes right back by the wall above serenity and towards witchcraft buttress....

20 June 2012 - On 30th April 2012 the hangers were replaced above The Reeve, the bolt runner was replaced on Mist over Witches and 6 pairs of stakes were installed along the top of the crag near the wall at the back.

Access notes
Park within the quarry - ten cars maximum as stated by signs from the BMC. Make sure the gate is closed. There have been historical problems, so the access rights are very important if climbing is to continue here.
Read more... Regional Access notes are available from the BMC.

Guidebooks
Northern Limestone : Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire (2015), Lancashire Rock (1999)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
  Climb nameGrade
 SHORT DETACHED BUTTRESS 
2HrothgarVS 4c
3Avenging Angel of DeathHVS 5b
 MAIN WALL 
5BelladonnaVD
6FarrakHVS 5a
7BroomstickVS 5a **
8Problem ChildE1 5b
9The OmenHVS 5a
10AliceS 4a
11ElizabethVD
12Seven Years AfterHVS 5b
13JennetS 4a
14Coven CrackHS 4b
15HemlockS 4a
16Cauldron CrackS 4a
17Sixth FingerVD
18The ShrewVS 4b *
19Warlock WallHVS 5b *
20Mist Over Witches'E2 5c
21BeelzebubVS 5a *
22Witchfire at LammasHVS 5b *
23Abbot PaslewVS 4c
24Halloween OutingS 4a
25Witches' FavouriteHVS 5a
26Witches' BrewHS 4b
27The Flying MagicianHVS 5b
28Hell Hounds on My TrailVS 4c *
29CracklapHS 4b *
30DarknessE2 5b
31Familiar's FallHVS 5a *
32Satan's SlaveE1 5b
33It Started with a KissHVS 5b *
34ThrutchVS 4c
35The SpellHVS 5a *
36SpellboundHVS 5b **
37Waxen DollE3 6a **
38Resurgent SpiritE4 6a
39Witch BaneHVS 5a **
40Devil WorshipperE4 6a
41Black MassHVS 5a,5b **
42BrimstoneHVS 5a,5b **
43Dark SecretsE1 5b,5c
44Peel OffVS 4c **
45CrucibleE1 5b **
46Cloven HoofE1 5b **
47Cloven Hoof Direct StartE1 5b
48Sorcerer's ApprenticeHVS 4a,5a, **
49Sorcerer's Apprentice Alternative FinishHVS 4a,5a, **
 SWEET DREAMS BUTTRESS 
51Witch AreteVS 4c
52Witch Arete Alternative StartVS 4c
53The NecromancerHVS 5c
54Witch WayVS 4c *
55Satanic RiteVS 5a
56Sweet Dreams Left-HandHVS 5c
57Sweet DreamsHVS 5b *
58The Nameless OneVS 5b
59Any Witch Way but LuciferHS 5a
60Any Witch Way but Lucifer Variation FinishVS 5c
61Crossing the LineS 4a
 WITCHCRAFT BUTTRESS 
63Witchcraft CrackHS 4b
64Witchcraft Left-HandE1 5b
65WitchcraftE2 5b **
66The Dark OneE3 5c **
67SpellingE3 6a *
68Prayer to Absent FriendsE1 5b
69The Ducking ChairE3 6a **
70Black OrchidE2 5b **
71Return of the IncubusHVS 5a
72Hubble, Bubble, Toil and TroubleE1 5b *
 DOWNHAM WALLS 
74BaalbrethHS 4a
75The ReeveVS 4c
76SatanVS 5a
77Walpurgis EveS 4a
78Walpurgis Eve Alternative StartVS 4c
79SerenityS 4a **
80TibbS 4a
81Pendle GrooveHS 4a
82Downham RacerE2 5c
83Tarot WallHVS 5a *
84MouldheelsVD
85Black's MagicHVS 5a
86NanceVD
87Witch TrialHVS 5c
88Diabolos VobiscumVD
89WiccaVD
90First ImpressionsHS 4b
91The Uninvited Guest7b+
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USER FEEDBACKLogin as Existing User to add your comments
Loved it. No walk in, really quiet, great quality routes. Don't tell anyone how good it is!
pedrosanpb - 29/Sep/14
People have been turning up to climb here thinking it is sports climbing all bolted, getting the information off UK Climbing. this happened again yesterday 17th June 13, we sent them off to Giggleswick,
Bowland Aventure - 17/Jun/13
The bottom half of the loose flake on Witch Bane was removed in June 09. The climb is now more difficult at the top. Some people think it should be E1 5b - any thoughts? I am doing the Witches section for the new guide and would like any help with the following points. 18. Mist Over Witches - harder than E2 5c (without bridging)? 44. Cloven Hoof - harder than E1 5b now a hold has come off? 46. Witch Arete - this has a finish directly over the overhang - 5a? 56. Witchcraft Left-Hand - much harder than E1 5b (if you don't bridge too far up the groove thus making it less than 5b)? 75. Black's Magic - some years ago a pull-over flake above the dome-shaped buttress came off and I know of no-one who has since climbed it. The top part contains good climbing but not well protected.? 32a.'new' route - Horny Little Devil HVS 5b - the arete between Thrutch and Spell then the wall just to R of Thrutch at the top. (done just after guide issued) 7a. 'new' route - The Final Reckoning E1 5b - R side of blunt arete from the ledge on Omen (not checked). I have seen a reference to an E5 being done but I cannot trace it - anyone help?
Paul Horan - 18/Feb/11
Remainder of flake of witch bane how now detached.
peewee2008 - 13/Jul/09
flake on witchbane has finally gone. don't know if the remainder is also loose, don't know what this has done to the climb and the protection.
The Fox - 24/Mar/09
We climbed here on the 20th July 2008, the flake midway up Witch Bane is very loose. It appears to have been cemented in place in the past and the cement has now degraded and shattered.I had to retreat via abseil and we toproped it instead, it is possible to avoid pulling too hard on the flake, but it has to be stood on and cannot be used for runner placements (signs of wear show it has been used for placements).
Crofty - 21/Jul/08
21/5/07 just been to witches today and noticed that the belay ring at the top of black mass has gone missing. it was there a couple of weeks ago. it can only be a climber that has removed it as it's not the kind of place where the saturday night cider crew hang out so i'm a bit puzzled why this has happened. there now seems to be a lack of anchors at the top of lots of the climbs and i would hate to suggest they have been removed by upperty leaders who don't want people rigging up top-ropes on certain routes. i'll continue this on a thread in the forum but perhaps an effort to replace these anchors (below ground level of course-don't want to upset the sheep!) would open up more of the climbs so everyone could enjoy all of this beautiful crag.
gjh1978 - 21/May/07
apparently some issues have been raised about access to this gem of a crag being at risk. main problems are 1) there is a limit, at the request of the landowner and in agreement with the BMC, on the number of cars allowed in the quarry. i think this is 10(?) at the moment but there are signs specifying near the rock face and inside the gate - this is being exceeded, or was at the back end of last summer anyway. 2) if the quarry is full people are parking in the laybys (only passing spots on long stretches of single track road) and in the nearby village. turning round in peoples driveways has also been an issue. it would be tragic if we lost access to this quarry beacuse of inconsiderate use and hassle for the locals. might it be an idea if; groups travelling to the quarry met up at downham or at barley (depending which direction your coming from) rather than meeting at the quarry. that way 4 people wouldn't turn up in 4 different vehicles. if people arrive after the car limit has been reached, those climbers present point out the restrictions and suggest where we have been requested to park. i know this adds hassle and a few minutes to peoples schedules and so cuts down some time on the rock but it's got to be an improvement on losing the venue altogether? any other thoughts anyone?
The Fox - 02/Mar/07
don't even think about driving stakes in at the top of the crag - the access agreement is very delicate and the landowner will only permit belay rings set below grass level. there are more than a few of these and most routes can be belayed safely using them!
smit - 17/Aug/06
Do The Anti-Christ E4 6b up the roof to the left of Satan's Slave. 'Tis an excellent route, a tad on the scary side mind, but well worth a new DILDO.
Paslew - 26/Aug/05
Witches' Quarry is on Explorer sheet OL41. <p> Directions from M6: Turn off the M6 (J31 I think) for the A59 to Cliteroe. Turn off for Downham. Enter Downham and turn left at the T-junction near the bridge. Up the hill on your right is a Post Office (with Tea Room) and a pub (there is also a church on the left). Just before the Post Office and the pub is a large junction on the right (immediately next to the Post Office). Take this right turn. Narrow road for a couple of miles. The crag is in a field with a metal gate and is not very obvious from the road (the BMC notice is not visible until you are very close to the gate). The ramp up to the gate is a hairpin right turn, so you may not immeidately notice it coming from this direction. <p> If you overshoot (i.e. you go too far east), you will see a right-angle turn in the road with a sign for a call box pointing right. Then you'll see a sign for Barley and the phone box itself a little further down. <p> Belay points above the crag are pretty hard to come by; there are four or five pre-placed rings, but these may not be quite where you need them. It might be a good idea to take stakes, perhaps. <p> Many of the routes have large clumps of stinging nettles at the foot - so don't fall off at low levels!
James Youngman - 14/Oct/02
Witches' Quarry is on Explorer sheet OL41. Directions from M6: Turn off the M6 (J31 I think) for the A59 to Cliteroe. Turn off for Downham. Enter Downham and turn left at the T-junction near the bridge. Up the hill on your right is a Post Office (with Tea Room) and a pub (there is also a church on the left). Just before the Post Office and the pub is a large junction on the right (immediately next to the Post Office). Take this right turn. Narrow road for a couple of miles. The crag is in a field with a metal gate and is not very obvious from the road (the BMC notice is not visible until you are very close to the gate). The ramp up to the gate is a hairpin right turn, so you may not immeidately notice it coming from this direction. If you overshoot (i.e. you go too far east), you will see a right-angle turn in the road with a sign for a call box pointing right. Then you'll see a sign for Barley and the phone box itself a little further down. Belay points above the crag are pretty hard to come by; there are four or five pre-placed rings, but these may not be quite where you need them. It might be a good idea to take stakes, perhaps. Many of the routes have large clumps of stinging nettles at the foot - so don't fall off at low levels!
James Youngman - 14/Oct/02
GOOD CLEAN ROCK. THE GRADES ARE QUITE MILD AT THERE GRADES. DOSNT FEEL LIKE A QUARRY WHEN YOU CLIMB ON IT. BEST ROUTE.........WITCH BANE HVS 5A
ANDREW MACKINTOSH - 24/Aug/02
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These details were last updated on 22/Jun/2012

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