King Wall

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King Wall
King Wall and Lewes Castle East
King Wall and Lewes Castle East
Rock Type Natural Carboniferous Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time 20 minutes
Area Gower
Sub Area Rhossili
Local Area Fall Bay to Mewslade
WGS-84 Location 51.561742, -4.289088
OS Grid Ref. SS 414 872
WGS-84 Parking Location 51.567326, -4.278292
GR Parking Location SS 421 878
Parking Postcode SA3 1PJ
Base Elevation 0 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction South
Aspect Sunny
Wind Sheltered Never
Climbing Type Normal
Seepage Quick drying
Before/After Low Tide 2.0 hours (See Note)
Crags Within 400m

Cathedral Wall, Conglomerate Cliff, Devil's Truck Area, Eyeball Wall, Giant's Cave, Hairy Dog Wall, Jacky's Tor, King Wall, Lewes Castle, Rolly Bottom Buttress, The Aisle, The Prows, The Pulpit, Upper Jacky's Tor, Yellow Wall


2½ hours either side of low water.


No bolting.


Descend down and right from the large platform above the crag to reach Giant’s Cave, then double back.


This is the tier below The Great Terrace above which is Lewes Castle. It is the first sea level crag encountered when coming from Fall Bay. It provides a number of good lower grade routes. When the beach is exposed, descent is easiest by following the Great Terrace rightwards (east) into Giants Cave. Because the first 6m of the wall are easy, it is possible to traverse or abseil into many of the routes for some time after the tide has come back in. To aid route identification Great Cleft is in the middle of the wall.

Descriptions of the routes at King Wall published in guidebooks since Talbot's 1970 Gower Peninsula are confusing. They are inconsistent between publications. It is known that some routes here have changed since Jeremy Talbot's descriptions in 1970.[1]

To what extent the confusion is due to the 1990 storms and what is down simply to human error is unclear.

The two topos produced below have used the topos in Talbot's 1970 guide as a starting point. It's possible that grades and descriptions of the routes Talbot describes have changed considerably and the descriptions (and lines on the topos) are innacurate. Information here should be treated with caution.

We believe that we can use these topos to clarify the situation at King Wall. Climbers are welcome to contribute to the wiki or send their views to

rock climbing topo of King Wall (left hand side), Gower, South Wales
King Wall - Left - Needs checking
  1. Niord 24m S
    Start 15m below and left of the left apex of King Wall, below a right-angled groove at 15m. Gain this groove and finish direct.

  2. Skadi 24m S
    The vague ramp 2m right of Niord.

  3. Llethrid 26m HS,4a
    Climbs a vague right-trending ramp below the left-hand apex of the wall.

  4. Frigg 26m VS,4b
    Start below the highest point of the wall (25m left of Great Cleft). Climb a shallow blackened groove leading towards the left end of the Great Terrace. Climb the groove, then trend left near the top where the groove peters out.

  5. Bolder 26m VS,4b *
    A nice pitch up the slabby wall between Frigg and Beowulf.

  6. Beowulf 29m VS,4b
    Climb a groove running rightward to a small overlap at 20m with a light brown stain below it. Traverse left above the overlap to a small pitted slab. Follow this via another overlap to the top.

  7. . Beowulf's little mistress 29m E1 5c
    A totally contrived and escapable eliminate on the slab between Beowulf and Ragnarok. But if you want King Wall to offer you something a bit harder here it is ( and the moves are nice)! Try to keep off the arête but you might need it just below the top overhang

  8. Ragnarok 29m HS,4a **
    As for Beowulf but follow the groove to the top.

  9. Trying Lines 29m VS,4c
    Directly up the pillar right of Ragnarok.

  10. Sweyn 29m HS,4b
    Follow thin calcite streaks on the broken wall right of Ragnarok, then directly up the wall above.

  11. Gefion 27m HVS, 5a
    The steeper wall left of the groove (Idun). Get to the ledge at half height via an interesting rock up into a large hole. Romp to the top

  12. Idun 21m S
    The corner bounding the left-hand side of the pillar.

  13. King Route 21m S
    Start immediately right of Idun and climb the left-hand side of the pillar and the indefinite stepped groove slightly rightwards to the top.

  14. Freya 21m HS,4a *
    Climb a shallow groove in the centre of the pillar.

    rock climbing topo of King Wall (left hand side), Rhossili, Gower
    King Wall Right - Needs checking.
  15. Valkyrie 21m VS,5a
    The cracked wall to the right of Freya, keeping left of an overlap at 15m.

  16. Vik 21m HS,4b
    Climb a vague line right of Valkyrie and left of the arête of the wall.

  17. Cleft Corner 21m S
    Take the subsidiary groove running up to Great Cleft from the left.

  18. Great Cleft 21m D
    The obvious broken crack and groove left of a smooth recessed slab more or less halfway along the wall. Climb the wall to gain the crack at half-height.

    To the right is a 20m wide wall, bounded on its right by a prominent arête.

  19. Wulst 21m S
    Climb the wall just right of Great Cleft.

  20. Vanir 21m VS,4c
    As for Balder and then move immediately left to climb up to a scoop and a tiny calcite knob in a hole. Move up to a shallow groove on the left to finish.

  21. Loki 21m HS[2]
    Left hand finish to Balder.

  22. Balder 21m VS,5a
    The centre of the slab by a thin crack. Climb up leftward to gain a tiny ledge, move right and finish up the slab. Surely not 5a?

  23. Fafnir 21m HS,4b **
    A popular climb taking the corner at the right side of the recessed slab. Affected by rockfall and the line now differs slightly at the very top.

  24. Tyr 21m S,4a
    Start up Fafnir' and step out onto the overlap on the right. Keep to the left edge of the overlap to the top.

  25. Pytt 21m S
    The wall immediately left of Amble.

  26. Amble 21m VD
    The prominent crack on the raised slab right of Fafnir.

  27. Vorder 21m S,4a
    Climb slab right of Amble to the overlap which is followed leftwards until it is possible to go directly to the top.

  28. Fenris 21m HS, 4b
    Climb the arête at the right side of the pitted wall.

  29. Ides 30m S
    A rising traverse linking Vorder to Needle Crack.

  30. Thor 21m S,4a
    The groove in the side wall to the right of Vorder, gained from Odin.

  31. Odin 21m VS,4b
    A skinny man's route. Climb the obvious chimney and the crack above.

  32. Valhalla 21m HVS,4c
    The wall right of Odin.

    Nones (J.Talbot, B.Talbot 1965) has been superseded by the other routes hereabouts.

  33. Needle Crack 21m VS,4b **
    Climb the steep corner right of Odin to easier rock, then pleasantly up to the final steep section.

  34. Joe Says Its Cool 24m E2,5c
    Supersedes the old routes Exodus (J.Talbot 1963) and Kluft (J.Talbot 1960). The overlaps right of Needle Crack.

  35. Nimbus 24m S,4c
    Start just right of the arête of the corner of Needle Crack. Make an awkward move to gain the slab just right of the arête and take a diagonal line up right to a ledge. Continue directly to the top.

  36. Genesis 18m HD
    The distinct rib 10m to the right of Nimbus.

  37. Findel 18m M
    The last deep fissure on the wall.

  38. Varus 18m M
    Climbs the area of broken rock to the right of Findel.

  39. King Wall Girdle 100m VS,4c
    A right to left girdle following any convenient line.


  1. Niord - J.Talbot 1970
  2. Skadi - J.Talbot 1970
  3. Llethrid - J.Talbot 1963
  4. Frigg - J.Talbot, D.Lewis 1963
  5. Bolder - J.Harwood, G.Evans 07.12.1980
  6. Beowulf - J.Talbot, D.Lewis 1963
  7. Beowulf's Little Mistress - C Wyatt, 9.3.2015
  8. Ragnarok - J.Talbot, D.Lewis 1963
  9. Trying Lines - G.Evans, J.Harwood 07.12.1980
  10. Sweyn - J.Talbot, D.Lewis 1963
  11. Gefion - J.Talbot, D.Lewis 1963
  12. Idun - J.Talbot, D.Lewis 1964
  13. King Route - D.Jones, J.Talbot 1959
  14. Freya - J.Talbot 1964
  15. Valkyrie - J.Talbot 1964
  16. Vik - J.Talbot 1963
  17. Cleft Corner - J.Talbot, D.Jones 1959
  18. Great Cleft - J.Talbot 1959
  19. Wulst - J.Talbot 1970
  20. Vanir - J.Talbot 1964
  21. Loki - J.Talbot 1964
  22. Balder - J.Talbot 1963
  23. Fafnir - J.Talbot 1963
  24. Tyr - J.Talbot 1963
  25. Pytt - J.Talbot 1962
  26. Amble - J.Talbot 1961
  27. Vorder - J.Talbot 1963
  28. Fenris -
  29. Ides - J.Talbot 1963
  30. Thor - J.Talbot 1963
  31. Odin - J.Talbot 1963
  32. Valhalla - J.Talbot 1964
    G.Evans & J.Bullock - Direct 1988
  33. Needle Crack - J.Talbot 1963
  34. Joe Says Its Cool - A.Berry, H.Griffiths, J.Bottrill, J.Bullock, G.Evans 1993
  35. Nimbus - J.Talbot 1963
  36. Genesis - Unknown Pre-1978
  37. Findel - J.Talbot 1961
  38. Varus - J.Talbot 1961
  39. King Wall Girdle - Traditional Pre-1978


  1. "Many of the routes here were affected by heavy storms in 1990, so beware!" Gower and SE Wales Richardson, A. 1991, p.25.
  2. Given a grade of VI (UIAA) in Talbot (1970) which equates to approximately HVS. Suggests that there is some confusion with the next line which has come to be known as, Balder; a line which, in my opinion, is wildly overgraded and given V (UIAA) by Talbot.