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

Witches' Quarry, Cracklap. © Mark Glaister

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.

Approach 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.

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Guidebooks

Northern Limestone : Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire

Northern Limestone : Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire covers some of the best limestone crags in the UK including the big three of Malham, Kilnsey and Gordale. Alongside these titans are numerous other destinations that offer both sport and trad climbing throughout the grades, ranging from the intimidating walls of Blue Scar and Trow Gill to the long lines of newly-developed low to mid-grade sport crags such as Moughton Nab and Giggleswick South. Trad climbing is also well catered for on the walls and escarpments at the likes of Trowbarrow Quarry, Twistleton Scar, Attermire Scar and Witches Quarry.
More info
More Guidebooks:
Lancashire Rock (2016)
Lancashire Rock (1999)
I really enjoy climbing at this crag in summer. It will be a shame if the access is stopped but this can be avoided if we follow the crystal clear instructions posted in the guidebook, on here, at the base of the crag and at the gate to the quarry. I was there on 23rd of June and what appeared to be a club had a meet there and there were at least 16 cars in. A couple of people ditched gear and parked elsewhere but others did not bother. FFS car share or park elsewhere but do not spoil it for everyone else please! You have all logged routes on this day, anyone care to comment? Andy.
Andrew Wilson - 29/Jun/15
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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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Short Detached Buttress
2 Hrothgar
-
VS 4c 8
3 Avenging Angel of Death
-
HVS 5b 2
  Main Wall
5 Belladonna
-
VD 36
6 Farrak HVS 5a 12
7 Broomstick VS 5a * 250
8 Problem Child
-
E1 5b 16
9 The Omen
-
HVS 5a 25
10 Alice
-
S 4a 95
11 Elizabeth
-
VD 51
12 Seven Years After
-
HVS 5b 5
13 Jennet
-
S 4a 50
14 Coven Crack
-
HS 4b 75
15 Hemlock
-
S 4a 73
16 Cauldron Crack
-
S 4a 41
17 Sixth Finger
-
VD 37
18 The Shrew VS 4b * 132
19 Warlock Wall HVS 5b * 29
20 Mist Over Witches' E2 5c 5
21 Beelzebub VS 5a * 36
22 Witchfire at Lammas HVS 5b * 23
23 Abbot Paslew VS 4c * 67
24 Halloween Outing S 4a * 223
25 Witches' Favourite HVS 5a 24
26 Witches' Brew HS 4b * 125
27 The Flying Magician HVS 5b 21
28 Hell Hounds on My Trail VS 4c * 91
29 Cracklap HS 4b * 342
30 Darkness E2 5b ** 48
31 Familiar's Fall HVS 5a ** 153
32 Satan's Slave E1 5b * 47
33 It Started with a Kiss HVS 5b * 72
34 Thrutch VS 4c ** 255
35 The Spell HVS 5a * 104
36 Spellbound HVS 5b *** 144
37 Waxen Doll E3 6a ** 64
38 Resurgent Spirit E4 6a * 13
39 Witch Bane HVS 5a *** 216
40 Devil Worshipper E4 6a * 9
41 Black Mass HVS 5b * 48
42 Brimstone HVS 5b ** 64
43 Dark Secrets E2 5b * 13
44 Peel Off VS 4c *** 329
45 Crucible E1 5b ** 117
46 Cloven Hoof E1 5b * 44
47 Cloven Hoof Direct Start
-
E1 5b 2
48 Sorcerer's Apprentice
-
HVS 4a,5a, ** 7
49 Sorcerer's Apprentice Alternative Finish
-
HVS 4a,5a, **  
  Sweet Dreams Buttress
51 Witch Arete
-
VS 4c 19
52 Witch Arete Alternative Start
-
VS 4c 1
53 The Necromancer
-
HVS 5c 1
54 Witch Way
-
VS 4c * 25
55 Satanic Rite
-
VS 5a 2
56 Sweet Dreams Left-Hand
-
HVS 5c 1
57 Sweet Dreams
-
HVS 5b * 1
58 The Nameless One
-
VS 5b 3
59 Any Witch Way but Lucifer
-
HS 5a 5
60 Any Witch Way but Lucifer Variation Finish VS 5c  
61 Crossing the Line
-
S 4a 12
  Witchcraft Buttress
63 Witchcraft Crack
-
HS 4b 3
64 Witchcraft Left-Hand
-
E1 5b 6
65 Witchcraft E2 5b ** 62
66 The Dark One E3 5c ** 10
67 Spelling
-
E3 6a * 1
68 Prayer to Absent Friends
-
E1 5b 15
69 The Ducking Chair E3 6a * 8
70 Black Orchid E2 5b * 12
71 Return of the Incubus
-
HVS 5a 6
72 Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble
-
E1 5b * 1
  Downham Walls
74 Baalbreth HS 4a 29
75 The Reeve VS 4c * 140
76 Satan VS 5a * 56
77 Walpurgis Eve S 4a * 66
78 Walpurgis Eve Alternative Start
-
VS 4c 9
79 Serenity S 4a * 295
80 Tibb
-
S 4a 6
81 Pendle Groove
-
HS 4a 9
82 Downham Racer E2 5c 3
83 Tarot Wall HVS 5a * 76
84 Mouldheels
-
VD 12
85 Black's Magic E1 5b 10
86 Nance VD 93
87 Witch Trial E1 5c 4
88 Diabolos Vobiscum
-
VD 19
89 Wicca
-
VD 19
90 First Impressions
-
HS 4b 4
91 The Uninvited Guest
-
7b+  
92 Witches' Quarry Traverse f6A+ *** 1
93 Old Chattox * VS 4c 6
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderator Updates to this page are checked by UKC volunteer goose299