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UKClimbing Team

Climbs 31
Rocktype Sandstone (soft)
Altitude 170m a.s.l
Faces E

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Heighley Castle,Tier 1, Holds are cleaner than they actually look. © JamesM

Crag features

A very useful quarry of vertical sandstone giving a great number of fingery boulder problems and routes. Traditionally enjoyed by many in the Stoke area, it is now in the possession of an uncompromising owner who refuses to permit climbing. A shame.

Traditionally recorded as routes, but best seen as a bouldering venue - topping out on many of the awful finishes is an esoteric risk. The bouldering consists of traverses, arêtes and walls, and is very fingery on generally sound rock. There are a significant number of vital pebbles, vulnerable to misuse, that make for crucial holds on some of the problems.

The quarries can be vivid green and damp on occasions so the best times to climb are when there is no leaf cover on the trees, November through May. Unfortunately these times also coincide with the pheasant shooting and breeding season.

Approach notes

The standard/easiest approach is to walk up the farmer's lane for about 100m after the wooden 5 bar gate. However, a bit of 'sneaky' bouldering is best approached from a careful parking spot further up the hill (past the gate) before the cottage on the left. Park sensibly and walk up the short hill - brings you out in the last quarry.

The main buttresses and climbs are off to the right - split into 4 bays, one after the other, the last being the largest affording the best (most secluded/hidden) bouldering wall!

There is a much smaller section up to the left of the approach path, not so good really, and far more brittle overall.

Restricted Access

The farmer at Heighley Farm continues to turn climbers away. Please leave if asked. Please Note: Do not chip or manufacture any more holds and if holds need brushing please use a soft-brush rather than wire.

Having started climbing at Heighley in 1964 (lotsa virgin/ overgrown - more than now - rock) I still have a great passion for the place. Just become crag moderator - but due to zoom off to Vietnam for a month - so not much progress in the short term. Intend to visit & photograph in the 'fall' and begin some updating - and attempting to remedy all the misnaming from the last guide book. Any emails welcomed. Meanwhile - try to get a sesh' over there and do a bit of cleaning on each visit - before getting pumped in the last great bouldering bay!
Alan Blakeman - 16/Dec/13
Prior to the advent of modern climbing walls Heighley was used extensively for top roping and bouldering by members of the South Cheshire Climbing Club. Regular use meant it was cleaner than now. It's a pleasant location (particularly with the spring bluebells). I well remember being that pumped after a session at Heighley that I could not pull in the clutch on my Triumph Bonneville on the way home! Al Blakeman produced a guide in 1973 (I still have a copy Al!).The routes in recent guides do not correspond to the naming in Al's guide and are therefore wrong!!
Darron - 16/Dec/13
Although the crag photos below look truly rubbish, there are actually some real gems here.
Paulos - 04/Mar/10
Could be a nice crag with a wire brush and some regular activity... Could be even better with some nepam... Still OK for a (quiet) hour learning the fricative qualities of moss. S
simonjudge - 12/Dec/05
Update > I am not sure but their may be another tier to the left of the track as well. The off putting factor is that this was directly in from of the farm apart from a few trees and therefore, I didnt want to venture as to antagonise the farmer. I believe the face is EAST facing. I have uploaded a few photo's so hopefully this should give people an idea. Cheers - James
JamesM - 26/Apr/05
Access to this crag is via "Heighley Lane" which is after Maidley on the left. You pass the farm on the left and continue another 100 yards to a few small lay-bys. (Park Here) After the farm there is a welcoming track, although signposted "Climbing Prohibited". The crag is actually to the right of the track not to the left as the access notes suggest (100 meters). I will try and post some pics on here as I have taken a few as of 25/4/05. There is about 4 tiers, although along the same level, broken by trees. All following along to your right. Only the first two seem worth while. The first tier is great for an hours bouldering (lunch break) from Stoke or Crewe. Nice traverse line and flat soft bottom, Second is slightly higher, with marking's on wall "6B". Lots of pheasants about so im not sure how the farmer would take it if one was caught. As previously stated, discretion advised.
JamesM - 26/Apr/05
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Climbs at this crag

Name Grade Stars Type Logs Partner Ascents
These climbs you have climbed clean.
These climbs you have climbed by seconding or top-roping.
These climbs you have Dogged.
These climbs you Did not Finish.
* Climbs listed in red are waiting to be checked by a crag moderator, and may not be accurate.

Moderators Updates to this page are checked by a UKC volunteer Alan Blakeman