A pleasant collection of steep compact pocketed dolomitic limestone buttresses up to 15m in height in sharing a valley with a ruined 16th century monastery. The best climbing is in the low E grades but the VS and the few HVSs are very worthwhile. The grades seem tough due to the pumpy nature of the rock. The bouldering is excellent though a bit polished. Most of the harder routes are usually top roped (abundant trees provide good anchors) despite the odd peg! A lot of the crag stays dry in the rain but it generally gets better weather than the Peak anyway. The guidebook is out of print, but you could look at https://web.archive.org/web/20030608044708/http://www.dangeroussite.com:80/index_roche.htm [Paz 5/01]
From Maltby (come off M18 junction 1) go south east along the A634 following the brown signs to Roche Abbey. From the end of the cobbled lane (park here) turn right away from the Abbey and walk up the valley. The crags start immediately up on the right.
NOTE - climbing is technically forbidden by the landowner, but the situation is such that you are unlikely to be spotted let alone asked to leave. we climbed here 1/5/2015 and got kicked off after been spotted by security.
These crags do not have agreed access. The landowner has concerns with climbing on his land, and any publicity about the crags, or an increase in use, will result in an immediate and enforced ban. Quiet, low-key use is currently tolerated - please do not do anything to jepordize this. Be sensitive to the ecological features of the area and take all litter home with you.
2012 Update: access issues have resurfaced here this summer - please be aware that access is particularly sensitive at the moment so good behavoiur and remaining low key are vital.
For anyone who has not been before (when leaves are on the trees) I think theyre difficult to find. Once you get to the carpark. The first 2 crags are adjacent to the carpark behind thick woodland. See the excellent http://www.dangeroussite.com for ace info. As noobs we found these crags too hard and prefered the bouldering after the end of the SSSI, down the track from the car park away from the abbey and over the road into the next woodland. It was a bit slippery being shaded but not too bad. Also, the car park was very busy and a flourescent jacket tried telling me i would have to reverse 3/4 mile up a twisty single lane track as there was no room in the carpark. i ignored him of course and found a parking space but be prepared! We will come back when we are more experienced, theres some great climbing to be had but as noobs maybe we should stick to Stanage Edge for now northernspirit2001 - 05/Jun/07
Access is officially denied as it is a designated SSSI. The Earl of Scarborough recently died and English Heritage allegedly manage the place.
More info on www.dangeroussite.com
Keep a LOW profile and behave and you should be ok. As DP says the bouldering and climbing is pretty good, nothing really here for beginners.
Enjoy this smashing little crag..
Dave Law dangerous - 06/Apr/06
Guide books for Roche Abbey. The Crag appeared in BMC New climbs 1986. Pages 64 to 68. Paul F - 31/Oct/05
Access problems currently at the moment, Lord Scarborough - English Heritage has installed a new security gate at the entrance to the driveway. This gate is electric opens at 6.30am and closes at 6.30pm. Currently there are signs stating no climbing due to double scientific interest. steve Greig - 21/Feb/03
What a superb crag. Puts the Minus Ten wall to shame.
The bouldering is shady in the summer and a suntrap in the winter - what more could you ask for. The classic \"Borg\" (English 6b), is maybe the best boulder problems of its grade on yorks/peak limestone (see photo http://www.peakgrit.ukclimbing.com/borg.jpg).
Undisputed (as yet) as South Yorkshire\'s premier limestone bouldering venue. Dave Parry - 31/Jan/02