The Castle Area

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The Castle Area
Rock Type Natural Jurassic Limestone
Climbing Style Trad
Approach Time
Area South Coast
Sub Area Ogmore
WGS-84 Location 51.4525004, -3.6197838
OS Grid Ref. SS 875 738
WGS-84 Parking Location
GR Parking Location
Base Elevation 0 metres (Other)
General Info
Faces Direction
Wind Sheltered
Climbing Type
Crags Within 2.0 km

Black Zawn, Cave Inlet, Davy Jones' Locker and the Sea Caves, Dirty Harry Walls, Dunraven Cliff, Elephant Wall, Every Persons Wall, First Inlet, Folded Walls, Fools Fantasy Area, Mitzy Wall, Ogmore Popular End, Phaser Wall, Playtime Wall, Right Hand Wall, Second Inlet, Stone Wings Cliff, The Biscuit, The Castle Area, The Long Wall, The Western Crag, Tiger Bay, Tusker Chimney Area, Twinkle Buttress, Witches Cave, Witches Tip


See the Ogmore Crag Familiarisation Page. There is now a broad sweep of crag continuing to a small sea stack (The Castle). The bottom part of the crag is mostly good rock but care should be taken with all the exits, which are on rubble. A generally disappointing area which along with the nearby BISCUIT ROCK has Ogmore's highest proportion of strangely unfashionable "adventure routes". Scarce on belays the easiest to find being "monster stakes above the Castle

The Routes

The Castle Area
  1. Scorcher 30m E3,6a
    Start 3m right of Poseidon at a crack. Climb direct for 6m, move right to a runner slot, step up right and climb to the overhangs. Pass these via a thin crack. Continue for 3m, then move right and up to a corner at an overhang. Turn it on the left to a final crack and the top.

  2. Dracula 42m E2,5c,5b,4b *
    A good route, but ensure that P3 is your mate's lead. Start below a pod like recess right of the large cave.
    1. 9m Climb to the recess, then out of it, before making a hard traverse left to reach a stance above the roof.
    2. 21m Move left and reach a hanging groove/crack, which cuts through the roof. Up this strenuously to better holds. Continue until able to move right to the middle of a long ledge.
    3. 12m Traverse left and pull into the obvious groove/chimney leading to the top.

  3. Son of Dracula 35m E4,6a,5a *
    1. 21m Climb into the recess as for Dracula. Move out right onto the face and climb the wall and shallow overhanging grooves leading through the overhang on the left to a ledge. Belay just above.
    2. 14m Traverse right for 3m then climb up left above an overhang, finishing up the slab.

  4. Blood Lust 36m E4,6b,4c *
    1. 24m Climb the wall just right of Dracula, trending left at the top, to a break. Move up and right into a groove, PR. Follow this and the wall above the roofs, moving left to ledges and a belay.
    2. 12m Climb a crack and groove to the top.

  5. Dog Day Afternoon 39m E1,5b,4b
    A fine first pitch, steep and interesting. Start 4m right of Dracula and 13m right of the corner of Poseidon below a rightward-slanting line.
    1. 27m Climb to a horizontal crack at the base of some smoother rock. Move up rightwards to a white niche, follow the groove above and finish rightwards taking care with some holds.
    2. 12m Climb the corner crack on the left to the top.

  6. Flying Fortress 39m E1,5b,4c
    1. 24m As for Dog Day Afternoon to the white niche. Climb up rightwards to a corner, then right onto the arête. Continue up a loose groove to belay on the left of a large ledge.
    2. 15m Climb the slab just right of the arête for 6m, move left and climb a groove to the final overhang, which is turned on the left.

  7. Keep Smiling 39m E2,4b,5b,5c
    This crosses Dog Day Afternoon on a counter diagonal line. Start beneath a large cave at 7m.
    1. 7m Climb to the cave.
    2. 21m Traverse to the arête and move up to a small cave. Traverse left for 6m past a groove (Dog Day Afternoon) to reach a crack leading to a huge detached flake overhang. Climb diagonally leftwards from the flake overhang to a stance, TR.
    3. 11m Climb to the final large roof and surmount it via the widest and most central crack.

  8. Wounded Knee 42m E3,5b,4c
    Strenuous and committing climbing weaving through the overhangs left of Stronghold. Start 3m left of the overhung cave, 12m left of the arête opposite The Castle stack.
    1. 27m Climb the wall on good holds, then traverse right below the overhangs to the crack rising from the cave. From its top gain the arête and climb direct through the overhangs to reach a crack leading to ledges. Belay as for Stronghold, on the largest ledge to the left.
    2. 15m As for Flying Fortress.

  9. Stronghold 42m HVS,5a,4c
    Start 4m left of the arête opposite The Castle stack at a leaning wall of conglomerate rock that gives surprisingly solid climbing.
    1. 27m Climb up and left to some conspicuous slots. Continue up for 3m then go diagonally left to reach an area of ledges.
    2. 15m As for Flying Fortress.

  10. The Castle 44m VS,4b,4b
    Start opposite The Castle stack, at a boulder below obvious grooves in the upper wall.
    1. 22m Climb to a flat ledge, continue up right, then left to another ledge. Take care with the rock.
    2. 21m Climb a groove and pull over a bulge to a ledge. Follow another groove for 3m to a chockstone, then traverse left to another groove. Climb this to an earthy groove and finish up the crack on the left.

  11. Western Shout Out 39m HVS,4c,5a
    Loose and poor. It takes the lower arête and left-hand crack high on the wall.
    1. 16m Climb the arête on the left to an overhanging cleft. Take this on the right to a flat ledge.
    2. 22m From the ledge move left following a broken crack and smaller ledges to a larger one (escape possible leftwards). Move up a thin crack in a short steep wall, making an awkward mantleshelf on the right. Follow the dirty crack in the wall to a large niche, to exit carefully past the overhang.

  12. Weakhold 45m HVS,5a
    A wandering right to left girdle. Climb the arête opposite the Castle for 10m, traverse left into a bay and finish up The Castle.

First Ascents

  1. P.Littlejohn, C.Heard 09.07.1983
  2. P.Thomas, C.Horsfield 00.00.1974
    FFA P.Littlejohn, Ward-Tetley 05.04.1977
  3. P.Littlejohn, J.Mothersele 18.05.1977
  4. M.Crocker, R.Thomas 21.07.1985
  5. P.Littlejohn, J.Mothersele AL 06.03.1977
  6. S.Massey, S.Bartlett 06.04.1979
  7. D.Cuthbertson, P.Littlejohn 15.02.1981
  8. P.Littlejohn, J.Mothersele 24.04.1977
  9. P.Littlejohn, J.Mothersele AL 13.03.1977
  10. J.Kerry, C.Horsfield 00.00.1972
  11. S.Robinson, F.Lunnon 24.03.1979
  12. G.Lewis, etc 00.00.1984