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These details were last updated on 22/Jun/2012

Witches' Quarry

Lancashire, ENGLAND

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.

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Guidebooks
Lancashire Rock (1999)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs Add missing Climb Upload a file of missing climbs
 Climb nameGradex
1HrothgarVS 4c 5
 SHORT DETACHED BUTTRESS  
3Avenging Angel of DeathHVS 5b 1
 TWISTON WALLS  
5BelladonnaVD 24
6FarrakHVS 5a 10
7BroomstickVS 5a **161
8Problem ChildE1 5b 13
9The OmenHVS 5a 20
10AliceS 4a 75
11ElizabethVD 37
12Seven Years AfterHVS 5b 5
13JennetS 4a 35
14Coven CrackHS 4b 50
15HemlockS 4a 47
16Cauldron CrackS 4a 27
17Sixth FingerVD 27
18The ShrewVS 4b *86
19Warlock WallHVS 5b *18
20Mist Over Witches'E2 5c 5
21BeelzebubVS 5a *20
22Witchfire at LammasHVS 5b *18
23Abbot PaslewVS 4c 33
24Halloween OutingS 4a 107
25Witches' FavouriteHVS 5a 13
26Witches' BrewHS 4b 60
27The Flying MagicianHVS 5b 15
28Hell Hounds on My TrailVS 4c *51
29CracklapHS 4b *201
30DarknessE2 5b 28
31Familiar's FallHVS 5a *88
32Satan's SlaveE1 5b 25
33It Started with a KissHVS 5b *39
34ThrutchVS 4c 161
 CENTRAL WALL  
36The SpellHVS 5a *68
37SpellboundHVS 5b **71
38Waxen DollE3 6a **46
39Resurgent SpiritE4 6a 5
40Witch BaneHVS 5a **119
41Devil WorshipperE4 6a 7
42Black MassHVS 5a,5b **25
43BrimstoneHVS 5a,5b **38
44Dark SecretsE1 5b,5c 7
45Peel OffVS 4c **197
46CrucibleE1 5b **78
 Climb nameGradex
47Cloven HoofE1 5b **29
48Cloven Hoof Direct StartE1 5b 2
49Sorcerer's ApprenticeHVS 4a,5a, **5
50Sorcerer's Apprentice Alternative FinishHVS 4a,5a, ** 
 SWEET DREAMS BUTTRESS  
52Witch AreteVS 4c 14
53Witch Arete Alternative StartVS 4c 1
54The NecromancerHVS 5c 1
55Witch WayVS 4c *14
56Satanic RiteVS 5a 2
57Sweet Dreams Left-HandHVS 5c 1
58Sweet DreamsHVS 5b *1
59The Nameless OneVS 5b 3
60Any Witch Way but LuciferHS 5a 1
61Any Witch Way but Lucifer Variation FinishVS 5c  
62Crossing the LineS 4a 8
 WITCHCRAFT BUTTRESS  
64Witchcraft CrackHS 4b 3
65Witchcraft Left-HandE1 5b 4
66WitchcraftE2 5b **39
67The Dark OneE3 5c **7
68SpellingE3 6a *1
69Prayer to Absent FriendsE1 5b 14
70The Ducking ChairE3 6a **6
71Black OrchidE2 5b **10
72Return of the IncubusHVS 5a 5
73Hubble, Bubble, Toil and TroubleE1 5b * 
 DOWNHAM WALLS  
75BaalbrethHS 4a 16
76The ReeveVS 4c 91
77SatanVS 5a 33
78Walpurgis EveS 4a 29
79Walpurgis Eve Alternative StartVS 4c 7
80SerenityS 4a **190
81TibbS 4a 5
82Pendle GrooveHS 4a 7
83Downham RacerE2 5c 3
84Tarot WallHVS 5a *46
85MouldheelsVD 7
86Black's MagicHVS 5a 2
87NanceVD 42
88Witch TrialHVS 5c  
89Diabolos VobiscumVD 14
90WiccaVD 13
91First ImpressionsHS 4b 2
92The Uninvited Guest7b+  
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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