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History Timeline

1995: The Castle opens to the public. The climbing was all upstairs with Reception and Café combined where the Café is now. The Wave bouldering wall was where the top rope slabs are now.  Downstairs there was only the shop which was run by Snow and Rock plus changing rooms and toilets in portacabins.

1996: The Wave wall moved downstairs to where the toothed arch is now.  That made way for the slabby top roping walls (Lines 1-9).

1997: 30 degree training board built in the alcove where The Wave is now.  First 7 lines of the Rockley featured top-roping wall are opened.

1998: Traverse wall built opposite Rockley Wall covering the whole width of the building.

2000: Snow and Rock move out of the shop to be replaced by Urban Rock.

2001: Development of The Stack plus Zawn wall.  Portacabins removed and current women’s changing built as two units for men and women. The Wave moved (again) to its current location in the Cave with 20 and 30 degree training boards built in its place. Last two lines of Rockley Wall installed plus the campus board and Pannels bouldering. Reception desk installed downstairs and Café opens as a franchise of The Blue Legume.

2002: Catacomb built downstairs across from the Rockley Wall and behind the long traverse wall with openings from it.

2003: The Pen bouldering opens.  Toothed Arch and slab roped walls built to replace the 20 and 30 degree training boards.

2005: The Mezzanine level is built (Training Rooms, Lust/Envy, Catacomb relocated, The Mezz and The Slab), The Quarry is built.

2008: We rebuilt The Panels and extended walls 0 to 3.

2009: The Castle launches its Environmental Policy at our first annual Garden Party and awards £29,500 to projects through the 2009 Environmental Awards. The twin roof cracks are replaced by walls 16 to 18 and we built walls 10, 10.5 and 11. Planning starts for our permaculture garden and the final phase of development of the Castle (Engine House). We build Training Room 3 for which we were awarded the Sustainable City Award for Sustainable Building.

2010: We build our new Office and refurbished some of the Mezz and Panels. The Castle takes over running The Castle Shop. We sign up to the Mayor of London’s Green Procurement Code and are awarded Gold Level.  We have our first harvest from our organic garden and start the mini-plots community allotment scheme with a grant from Capital Growth.

2011: The Castle kitchen opens to prepare food from our organic Garden. We refurbish the shop to make it bigger, more comfortable and more energy efficient. We build The Gym and redevelop the Cave training area. We replace the featured top-out bouldering walls in the Mezz with new walls. We produce and sell our first batch of Castle balms in The Shop and give out the first two Eco-Grants.

2012: The Castle is granted permission to develop the Engine House and add boulders outside. Enabling works begin. A wood fired cob oven is built in the garden along with an external herb drying room under the café fire exit stairs. Created a wildlife pond and installed 11 x 1000 litre rainwater tanks. The Castle wins Sustainable City Awards in Sustainable Building and Sustainable Procurement categories and achieves second place in Capital Growth’s Grow For Gold.

2013: The original featured bouldering wall, next to the café since The Castle opened was removed and replaced with the Comp Wall. The feature wall was relocated to the outdoor boulder field along with 2 brand new boulders: Battleship and Roadside boulders. The area was landscaped and seating installed. The Loft bouldering floor opened on the mezzanine level of the Engine House above the café level. The beautiful oak staircase was built on-site and installed, running all the way from the Loft floor right down to the Wells. The Rockworks top roping wall was replaced with a new lead area next to the existing one opposite the café in the Engine House. A roundhouse was built in the garden to house the cob oven. The Castle won Hackney in Bloom – Best Food Growing Category and Sustainable City Awards – Winner of Sustainable Food.

2014: Wells 1 and 2, new tall lead wall areas opened deep below the current café/lead area. In late 2014, the Catacomb was redesigned. The Castle won the Green Thinking Award from Sport & Recreation Alliance and Sustainable City Awards – Winner of Sustainable Food.

2015: In March, the lead walls (12-18) were redesigned and refurbished. The Castle were the runners up for the Best Eatery award from Urban Food Awards.

2016: In January Wells 3 and 4 opened, also tall lead wall areas below ground.

2017: The panels were refurbished. We won the Rushlight Award for Energy Reduction with our Natural Ventilation System of the wells, which helped reduce our energy consumption by 30%.

2018: The Pen was refurbished and the Mezz was redesigned. The exciting new Pump Room and Tower were opend in June. 

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