Ashes Quarry

Co. Durham

Ashes Quarry is a large limestone quarry half a mile long, offering 15-20m sport routes in the low and mid grades. 

Crag information
Climbing Area: North East Rock Type: Limestone
Importance: Local CRoW Land: No
Ownership: Private No. of Routes: 112
Within National Park: No Year Developed: 2019
Grid Reference: NY9932639962

Sept 2019 update: the landower has informed the BMC that he does not permit access for climbing. Please avoid visiting the crag as discussions with the landowner are ongoing.

The crag faces south and south-west, is generally quite sheltered and catches the sun from late morning onwards (which can make it hot on sunny days). Some areas suffer badly from seepage such as Dawn Wall however even this buttress can dry out rapidly in the sun. Much of the Main Wall is free from seepage or run off and it is very fast to dry out after rain.

The quarry walls were last worked in the 1940’s by hand, so the rock is generally solid and is characterised by vertical walls spaced between horizontal breaks. Some loose rock still exists on routes and the slopes above the rock faces so wearing a helmet is recommended. 

The quarry is gradually being reclaimed by nature and a visit is likely to afford the chance to see much of this – rabbits, owls, adders, carp all reside in the quarry. Please keep to existing footpaths wherever possible.

Parking and Approach

There are a number of approaches into the quarry that follow public footpaths, however the recommended approach is from Stanhope.

Go past the market place and fire station and take a right turn which leads onto Church Lane. Park in the cemetery car park or on the verge of the road. The best footpath is just before the Methodist Church heading uphill. Follow the footpath through the gate and continue to the 2 bridges. The quarry is off to the left. Branch off the wider track to drop down to the climbing, (10-15 minute walk.)

Alternatively park further along the road (High Street) and follow the footpath up the hill into the quarry. Take the path going left which joins the above approach below the two bridges.

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