The monument consists of a gritstone column with a ball on top. It was erected in 1810 by a local businessman in honour of Lord Nelson. Three nearby boulders have been carved with the names of three of Nelson's ships: Victory, Defiance and Royal Soverin (sic).
There are generally good belays to be found at the tops although there are a couple of areas such as Stoker's Wall where it can be tricky. The starts can also be quite awkward where the crag is undercut. Classic routes include The Crow's Nest (climbing grade VS), Nelson's Slab (HVS), Sail Buttress (VS), Sail Chimney (S), Topsail (VS), Orpheus Wall (HVS), Peaches (E4), Trafalgar Crack (V Diff), Camperdown Crawl (VS) and Powder Monkey Parade (S – but do not underestimate it).
It was also the titular inspiration for the recently built Birchen Apartments at Sheffield University.