Northumbrian Climbing Guide

Intro Access Accommodation New Routes Map Archaeology Winter NMC homepage

Vindolanda What the symbols
& colours mean
Grid Ref: NY775661   Aspect: W   Routes: 26   Max Length: 14   Average Length: 9 
Altitude: 230 mtrs   Walk in: 10 mins 
Click here for StreetMap    
The crag is best approached from the Military Road, the B6318. Just less than a mile west of Housesteads Fort, a minor road leads south to a T-junction. Turn right for Bardon Mill and follow the road below a ridge, the Longstone being visible on the left. Just beyond a sharp, left hand bend is a green, wooden seat on the left side of the road and a parking place for a couple of cars on the opposite side of the road. From the car, follow the road to a metal gate just before a house. A pleasant path leads via a slanting route across pastures and through a wall to the quarry which is out of sight. Time from car 3 minutes.
A Roman quarry some 10 metres high in a hollow on the hillside overlooking Vindolanda fort. It is a very pleasant spot with luxuriant grassy landings and gets the sun from mid afternoon. There are no belays on the top and many of the routes are poorly protected..
Unnamed Sandstone Carboniferous Namurian (Upper Limestone Group)
Quite soft and features tend to be friable.
The guide to this crag is the work and copyright of Stewart Wilson and was published in “North Of England Rock Climbs” in 1992. Many of the routes are the work of Petes Botteral & Whillance and, according to Steve Blake, some are definitely undergraded. So beware.
The quarry has been over brushed to create some traverses on lower bits of the walls.
Other interesting stuff:
This is the quarry which supplied the stone for Vindolanda. A bit surprising that we're allowed to climb on it, really.
The quarry has been used in the past for pegging and scars and rotten stubs Are visible, particularly along horizontal breaks. There was however no evidence of free climbing. The routes recorded are the work of P. Whillance and D. Armstrong who soloed them after cleaning by abseil. This was in the early part of 1982. Visits to he crag in 1991 by Pete Botterill resulted in some worthwhile additions notably the Concave Wall routes, Teflon Effect, False Start, Chariot Of Fire and Mosaic.