Northumbrian Climbing Guide

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Jack Rock What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NU233044   Aspect: N   Routes: 44   Max Length: 56   Average Length: 13 
Altitude: 30 mtrs   Walk in: 3 mins   Route quality: **   Bouldering quality: poor 
Click here for StreetMap  This crag is in an area designated as an SSSI
The crag lies on the south bank of the River Coquet, facing north, 400 metres downstream from Morwick Mill. Morwick Village is about 5 kilometres south west of Warkworth. The crag is best reached from the Acklington Village / Warkworth road, which is left three kilometres north of Acklington when a left turn is made passing Morwick Hall and leading down a rough track towards the site of the old Mill. Park at the bottom of the road where there is room for a couple of cars. Do not obstruct this area, there is ample parking on the verge further back up the road. The crag is reached along the river bank where access can be awkward during periods of high water or in summer when the vegetation is thick.
The Jack Rock has an atmosphere that is unique in Northumberland climbing. It is a weathered sandstone crag of a vertical nature which rises up on the south bank of the Coquet and in part overhangs the river. The left and right hand ends of the crag are bounded by Downstream and Upstream Buttresses respectively. Downstream Buttress is on the whole overhanging. The next prominent buttress to the right is Tree Buttress which has a square incut corner, running vertically up its centre, topped by a pine. To the right and centre of the crag is Hanging Buttress which overhangs the river. A deep groove divides the upper part of Hanging Buttress from Wedge Buttress which juts out over the river and forms the left hand wall of the recess. The rock in the recess is the easiest angled on the whole crag but is topped by overhangs. To the right is Upstream Buttress which gently overhangs to its tree crested top and bounds the west end of the crag. The rock contains some interesting fossils and has a number of ancient cup and ring marks inscribed upon it, particularly high on the arete to the right of Ancient Briton. One can only speculate at the climbing ability of those who carved them, and care should be taken not to damage them.
Longhoughton Grit Carboniferous Namurian (Upper Limestone Group)
Malcolm Lowerson was the first person to discover the climbing potential of this crag in 1959, putting up most of the popular routes. Many of the first ascents were soloed including most of the Severes and Very Severes and the difficult Wet Fly. On the first attempt Malcolm was unable to summon up courage for the top wall. He also failed to make the moves back down to the ledge which resulted in a long jump into the river below. The second phase of development was by Bob Hutchinson and John Earl. This started in 1973 with the Butcher and in the period up to 1976 they freed Ancient Briton and the Girdle Traverse and climbed, amongst others, The Angler and Greenwells Glory. Bob and Tommy Smith climbed the ferocious Barracuda Roof in 1979 and 9 years later Breakout was added by Kevin Howett and Andy Nelson.