Finedon Slabs Introduction
OS ref. SP914722 (Sheet 141)
SITUATION and CHARACTER
These are not in Leicestershire at all and are recorded here because they won't find their way into any other guidebook. The Slabs are actually in Northamptonshire. Thanks to Clive Robinson and Fraser Ball for details.
Everybody knows there is no climbable rock in Northamptonshire and they are right - the Finedon Slabs are concrete. They are really old mass concrete buttresses which have cracked and fissured to give climbable "rock". They face south and dry quickly after rain.
The Slabs are the remains of the crushing and loading plant of the old ironstone workings and are hidden away off the A6, six miles south of Kettering.
The crag consists of two sets of slabs either side of a large central roof. The slabs on the left (looking from the footpath) are known as Sun Slabs. Those to the right are known as the Swastika Slabs, with the roof being known as The Parapet, and the wall below it, the North Wall.
Routes on the slabs are delicate but the routes on The Parapet are a complete contrast, being very arm pumping indeed.
The "Slabs" are acutally called "the Pyramids" by everyone who lives in Finedon. I have never heard them called the Slabs, and i have lived there for 19 years and abseiled down them many a time! Unfortuately they have been closed off but are perfcetly accesible for the dedicated, and local councils are set to condemn them, so it might be an idea to warn potential climbers of their state of disrepair.
Paul Marlow, Finedon local October 2003
I obviously wasn't expecting a great climb, but I didn't think I'd need a machete to get there. That was the pleasant part though. You don't so much stand on the ground as stand on the top layer of the fly-tipping at the bottom of the slabs. Eventually got scared and went home when we noticed syringes lying about everywhere ready to break any falls.
An unpleasant and pointless trip from start to finish!
Martin Oct 2004
APPROACH and ACCESS
From Kettering go south on the A6 to Finedon. Just before the roundabout of the A510 turn right onto Orchard Road. Take the third turning on the right (St. Mary's Avenue). About 100m down the lane, just past a green fence, turn left along a path. The "crag" can be seen after 100 yards of footpath. There have been no access problems.