Castle Crag

Climbs 45 – Rocktype Slate – Altitude 175m a.s.l – Faces W

Crag features
An often loose and serious crag. Zoar(HVS), Face in the Crowd(E3), Disillusion(S), Irrawaddy(HVS), RIP(HVS), Blue Max(HVS).

Access notes
25 minutes from Grange in Borrowdale.

Borrowdale (2000),
Out of print: Borrowdale (1990)

Climbs at this crag

Sort climbs
 Climb nameGrade
1Castle Crag summitsummit 112
2Mister MeanerE4 6b * 
3The Astronaut Next DoorHVS 5c  
4Gardeners' WorldMVS 4b 3
5Swine TrekE1 5b 2
6EpithetVS 4b *16
7VortigernHVS 5a *6
8ZoarHVS 5b **11
9A Face in the CrowdE3 6a **2
10DisillusionS *14
11LyreS 5a 9
12IrrawaddyHVS 5a **13
13Castle of FireHVS 5a  
14Corridors of PowerE3 5c 2
15The Blue MaxHVS 5a **3
16LibidoVS 4c 1
17R.I.P.HVS 5a **11
18EpitaphE1 5b 2
19Castle WallHVS 5a 1
20Castle Crag GullyVD 2
21The FortressHVS 5a *1
22Tomb RaiderE5 6b * 
23Suspended AnimationE4 6a  
24Big BusinessE3 6b * 
25Zombie in the DarkE3 6c 1
26Mac's CrackVS 4c  
27One AcrossE1 5c  
28The Crystal MazeS  
29Crystal GazerVS  
30The Dark CrystalHVS 5b  
31Green DeathE2 5b  
32KaraokeVS 1
33Sheriff of NottinghamE6 6b ** 
34In the BloodE6 6c  
35Liquid MorphineE2 5c **1
36Cold LazarusE3 6a *1
37Pennies from HeavenE1 5b **1
38Black EyesE1 5b *2
39Goodbye DennisE2 5c 1
40Dennis the MenaceMVS 1
41Singing DetectiveE2 5b *1
42The CrackHVS 1
43Millican's AreteE1 5b 2
44The GrooveHVS 5a 2
45Vortex *HVS 5b 1
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.
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Castle Crag stands alone in the Borrowdale Valley squeezed between the fells of High Spy and Grange Fell, they form the Jaws of Borrowdale, a narrow entrance to this beautiful dale. It’s summit provides impressive views. To the north the River Derwent snakes through the wooded valley toward Derwent Water, the town of Keswick and the lofty heights of Skiddaw framed by the slopes of the Borrowdale fells. To the south is valley farmland and the villages of Rosthwaite and Stonethwaite with the fells rising up behind them. Castle Crag was an ancient hill fort, has extensive slate quarry workings and was home to Millican Dalton an eccentric "Professor of Adventure" who lived in caves near the summit for over 20 years. Despite Castle Crag being less than 1,000ft, it’s 980ft high, Alfred Wainwright classified it as a Wainwright in his Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells and said of Castle Crag, that it ‘is so magnificently independent, so ruggedly individual, so aggressively unashamed of its lack of inches, that less than justice would be done by relegating it to a paragraph in the High Spy chapter.’ Recently it was made famous by Julie Bradbury in the BBC series, Wainwright Walks. Directions To the summit Castle Crag is situated at the south end of Derwent Water between the villages of Grange and Rosthwaite. Grange is 4 miles south from Keswick down the B5289, the Borrowdale Road. Take a right over Grange Bridge, signposted ‘Grange, Newlands’ and park in the village, some good places near the church. Walk up the road and before the church on the right take a left down a lane between a house and a wall, it signposted Public Footpath to Castle Crag and Rosthwaite. Walk up the lane and into the trees were the lane becomes rougher and follows the river, keep left. The lane comes out of the trees and ascends gradually between Castle Crag on your left and High Spy on your right. You pass the rocky crags of Castle Crag and before you reach the top of the pass above, where the path crosses beck turn left up a path that goes up the slope following a stream for a short while then up the slate steps to the wall above. Cross the wall by the stile and follow the steep zig-zag path up the slate workings, this is steep for a while and hard work. Once at the top of the zig-zags there is a quarry on your left - the summit is round to the right. It is a relatively flat grassy area above the trees with the odd rocky outcrop, one has a metal war memorial attached to it.
Michael Ryan - 21/Jan/11