OS ref. SK 582149 (Sheet 129)
SITUATION and CHARACTER
There are several small crags above the village of Mountsorrel on Castle Hill overlooking the Soar Valley.† The rock is granite and the exposures are mostly small, very old, quarries.† The crags currently only give bouldering in a pleasant environment. There is also an enormous quarry to the west of Mountsorrel (called Mountsorrel Quarry, Castle Hill Quarry or Main Quarry, opened 1852) which is currently being filled in.† There appear to be some excellent opportunities in this quarry particularly on the SE face of the little mountain (576150) and just inside the gate on the left (above the skips).† The quarry will not be completely in filled because rock exposure has to be left for the geologists.† Who knows, it may be the climbable bit.† The rock was capable of giving monoliths of great size and has been polished and used in buildings.† Most went for kerbstones and setts for paving streets.
APPROACH and ACCESS
Castle Hill is public open space and there are several paths giving access.† There is parking beside The Green.
There appears to be no problem with access to Castle Hill and Church Crag.† However, the Crag Behind the Garage is behind a garage which still operates and the area is probably private.† Access to the enormous quarry that is being filled in is doubtful.† However, The Chimney at 577151 (built 1879) looks accessible and would have 8 good 10m routes.
See map for detailed locations.
This is the best outcrop and the grass drops so steeply in places below the rock that it might be exciting to fall off.† It is just below the War Memorial on the north of the hill.† The small trees round it are cleared occasionally so it has an open aspect.
1 4c Short wall
2 4c Dome shaped slab and fierce mantleshelf.
3 Cracked wall. (Not climbed yet)
4 4c The arÍte with two good holds.
5 5b The wall with high left toe pocket, from the very bottom.
6 5a The thin crack, swing toe onto slab, and then up the arÍte.
7 5b Leaning wall, poor holds to a jug and `monkey' finish.
8 5a †††††††††† Using the right arÍte, swing up onto leaning wall, move left and up.
9 4b Slab and arÍte with friction hold start.
10 3c Slab and groove.
11 4b Left edge of wall.
12 4a Up the wall.
13 4a The higher wall and continuation wall direct.
14 4b Right arÍte from the right.
15 4c Thin crack from right side.
16 5b The overhang direct.
17 D The corner.
18 VD Long groove.
19 4c Wall direct.
20 4c Wall direct.
21 4a The arÍte (there is a tree in the way at present).
This small outcrop faces out over the Soar Valley and is just below the saddle of Castle Hill.
1 4a Cracked arÍte from the cave.
2 D The arÍte.
3 3b The twin cracks.
4 The wall direct (not climbed as yet).
5 The arÍte (not climbed as yet).
5: Soar thing†† 5c
6 4c The grooved nose.
7 VD Slab.
This outcrop is at the south end of the top of Castle Hill above the wall at the top of the Crag Behind the Garage.† It doesn't look much but has a few problems.
1 4b Up over middle of block.
2 4a Short wall and slab direct.
3 5a Overhanging wall and slab `Vote No'.
4 3c Corner.
5 4c ArÍte and wall.
6 4a Corner.
7 5b Crack and arÍte.
8 3a Nose and corner.
CRAG BEHIND THE GARAGE
This good‑looking crag lies just over the wall below Castle Crag.† The wall is to stop you falling over it.† It obviously has several routes but, also very obviously, would be difficult to climb on without being noticed by the owner.
This little crag also looks good.† It is opposite the church, with public open space beneath.† It is overgrown but, facing south, is clean and dry.† If the vegetation were cleared it would be an excellent little crag of 5m or so.
There are several old quarries around Mountsorrel and the area would be worth investigating.† However, the whole area is still active because the enormous Buddon Quarry is still in full production.† There is Hawcliff Quarry (573152) with some stunning grooves and walls rising straight out of the water and Cocklow Quarry (570152) but both are within the Buddon Quarry works.