Last Alteration: Sunday 07 April 2013

Harrison's Rocks

GPS Coordinates

51°06'00"00°11'16" show decimal

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Harrison's Rocks
Birchden Wood, Groombridge, East Sussex

Harrison's Rocks is one of several sandstone outcrops in the area southwest of Tunbridge Wells (including the nearby High Rocks and Bowles Rocks); it is a popular climbing area with a history dating back to the 1920s. Until recently it was owned by Sport England and managed by the British Mountaineering Council, but as of 2010 ownership has fully passed to the the latter.

How to get here:

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Road: B2110 - Via Royal Tunbridge Wells (A26), follow the A264 west towards East Grinstead, then take the B2110 towards Groombridge. At Groombridge, turn left at the mini-roundabout onto Station Road, and continue across the railway bridge and bear right onto Eridge Road. Birchden Wood is a couple of hundred yards on the right. +

Parking Details

Birchen Wood car park. Small fee applies

 

Access: publicStatus: recognisableClimbing Rocks

Photo

Photograph taken: 18th June 2006 by Chuck Foster

Castrovalva (3)
Screen Shot
Filmed: 4 Sep 1981
Tegan and Nyssa see the Doctor climbing up towards Castrovalva.

 

Photo

Photograph taken: 18th June 2006 by Chuck Foster

Castrovalva (3)
Screen Shot
Filmed: 4 Sep 1981
The Doctor climbs up the cliff.

 

Photo

Photograph taken: 18th June 2006 by Chuck Foster

Castrovalva (2)
Screen Shot
Filmed: 4 Sep 1981
Tegan and Nyssa pause, having reached the cliffs beneath Castrovalva.

 

Photo

Photograph taken: 18th June 2006 by Chuck Foster

Castrovalva (3)
Screen Shot
Filmed: 4 Sep 1981
Tegan and Nyssa see the hunting party returning with the Zero Cabinet.

 

Photo

Photograph taken: 18th June 2006 by Chuck Foster

Castrovalva (2)
Screen Shot
Filmed: 4 Sep 1981
Tegan and Nyssa look up at the cliffs they are attempting to climb.

 

Additional Notes:

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Over the last twenty-five years or so the paths have become more worn and vegetation has grown up around the rocks; however, the rocks themselves still retain much of how they looked back when filming took place for Castrovalva.

Rock formations that weren't found

Castrovalva (2)Screen Shot
Filmed: 4 Sep 1981
Rocks

Additional Notes:

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The shots for Castrovalva are still quite clear to spot, though the one where Tegan and Nyssa are actually climbing is still elusive.

Other nearby locations:

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Bowles Outdoor Centre (The Mind Robber). Road (2.7 miles, 9m) : Turn right out of the car park and head towards Eridge. When you reach the station, turn right onto the A26 towards Crowborough. Bowles Outdoor Centre is signposted on the left, and head along Sandhill Lane until you reach it.

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Withyham Cricket Club (Black Orchid). Road (3.3 miles, 8m) : Head north on Eridge Road and onto Station Road; at the mini-roundabout joining the main B2110, turn left and follow the road through Groombridge, continuing until you reach the Dorset Arms pub - the entrance to Buckhurst Park and the cricket club is here. Parking: roads alongside Dorset Arms.

Additional locations as the crow flies:

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Buckhurst Park (Woods) (Castrovalva): 1.85 miles.

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Buckhurst House (Black Orchid): 2.02 miles.

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Crowborough Training Camp (The Curse of Fenric): 4.43 miles.

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Sussex Police Training Centre (Crowborough) (Castrovalva): 5.38 miles.

Production Notes:

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For many years it was believed that the Rocks also featured in the 1960s story The Mind Robber in the scene where Jamie escapes the Clockwork Soldier chasing him by climbing a cliff via Rapunzel's hair, but this has now been recognised as being at the nearby Bowles Outdoor Centre.

General Details:

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The site is popular and active (as can be seen in the photos!), so you should take care not to cause disturb or disrupt climbers when visiting.

Further links about the location:

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The Climb Guide to Harrison's Rocks

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Sandstone Volunteers - History of climbing in the area.

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Sandstone Volunteers - Harrison's Rocks development in 2011

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The British Mountaineering Council

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Sport England

Related Stories

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Castrovalva [4 Sep 1981]: The Doctor climbs up towards Castrovalva.

Information, downloads, photographs and other media are provided for reference and for personal use only (planning visits etc.) - they remain the copyright of their respective authors and may not be duplicated on any other website or media without prior permission.

All screen captures are the copyright of the BBC and appear here as reference to illustrate the location in comparison with how it looked at the time of filming and the present day; no attempt is made to supercede this or any other copyright.






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