Morley Quarry


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OS ref. SK476179 (Sheet 129)



Morley Quarry is situated half a mile south of Shepshed and offers new routes in the "Cornwall Shale Cliffs" vein.†† Although the rock is not shale you may wish that it was.Most of the quarry faces north but it is large enough to have an open aspect and the face to the east is quite sunny.


At first sight the quarry is impressive.A closer inspection reveals that the entire south wall (it faces north) is topped by marl deposits which are about 3m thick.So even if you get to the top of the rock, there is a long way up vertical dried clay to the top.No doubt the stones embedded in the mud would help  .  .  .  .


The only routes recorded so far are on the small entrance walls.The entire main quarry is unclimbed [Printer symbol: ‑] but not unclimbable.There are some good lines, but cleaning from the top is essential.


The quarry is quite old.The small quarry with the pool (see later) was there in 1835.




From junction 23 on the M1, take the A512 towards Shepshed.After one mile (the second traffic lights) turn left towards Oaks in Charnwood.200m up the hill on the left is Morley Lane which leads along, bearing right just before the cricket club, to the quarry.Limited parking by the gate.Take note of the warning signs.


The quarry belongs to Charnwood Borough Council who acquired it for climbing.A small fortune has been spent clearing the foot and putting up the fences.Unfortunately without clearing the overburden from the top and scabbing off the loose rock, the place is useless, if not murderous.


The Council have deliberated on what to do.A shooting range and caravan site have both been proposed. Even filling it in (hooray).However, all has come to nothing because local residents want it left alone. So it's still there beckoning.





On the right of the entrance lies a steep wall of relatively sound rock forming a crenellated arÍte.The first three routes are here and are on the low part of the wall on the entrance side of the earth bank.The tree of Derek's Dilemma is the best landmark.


1   New Rose      7m      HVS      5a†††††††††† [Equation: right *]

Climb the wall left of the overlaps starting at the horizontal drill scar.Move up to the horizontal break (peg runner).Make a difficult move right to finish on good jugs.


2   Teresa's Crack      9m      VS      4c

Climb the rightward slanting crack 6m left of New Rose.


3   Derek's Dilemma      7m      HVS      4c

2m left of Teresa's Crack is an obvious tree with a bent trunk.Step off the tree and climb the wall trending left to obvious flake holds.


The next routes lie on the opposite (left) side of the quarry entrance on a graffiti covered buttress.


4   Builder's ArÍte      15m      VD

Climb the slab and up the arÍte to a loose finish.Tree and fence belay.


5   Latent Wall      15m      HS      4b

Climb the slab and then move left along the break to climb the wall above direct.Traverse right and finish up the arÍte.


200m to the west is a tiny crag above a small pool which gives some interesting problems.Some think it's a better place than the main quarry.




Potential for new routes abounds for those looking for steep loose climbs.It is just possible that if enough people were stupid enough to climb here then the place might become cleaned up enough to become safe.But look around and you will see that large pieces of what looks like safe rock in the main quarry has recently fallen down and shattered into small fragments.Just like the Blackbrook Reservoir Crag.But then, the rock is very similar.Again Precambrian, but age has not improved the quality.


It has been suggested that one solution to the dilemma of Morley Quarry would be to place bolts at the top of the clean climbable rock (this is the wall at the south of the quarry) either by abseil or by long ladder.The routes would terminate at the bolts and the wall of mud would never need climbing.