Cycling Mow Cop, Cheshire and Staffordshire.
Mow Cop Castle at top of climb.
Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, Britain choice for #33 is a challenge at 1.5 kilometers with an average grade of 11.4%. At kilometer 1.1 we have to come out of the seat for 100 meters as we grind up a 21% stretch.
Mow Cop once hosted the British National Hill Climb Championships in 1952 (Brian Robinson topping the podium).
After passing a railroad crossing (we were unlucky) the first half of the climb is through rural pasture.
No KOM today!
The second half of the climb is through a neighborhood, ending near Mow Cop Castle just down High Street, less than 100 meters to our left.
Mow Cop Castle was built in 1754 by Randle Wilbraham of nearby Rode Hall and was designed to look like a medieval fortress. In 1937 the castle was transferred to the National Trust. The castle is referred to as a “folly” because it does not serve the purpose for which it appears (i.e., it was merely a home, not a medieval defensive fortress).
If you are just doing this climb and need a place to park, Heritage Marina is the spot. The Marina has a cafe and offers river tours on the Macclesfield Canal through Heritage Narrow Boats.
This is a great climbing area with five other Top 100 Greatest Climbs within 50 kilometers to the north/northeast.
Steepest ½ kilometer begins at km 800m (14.6%).
Views along the climb.
Cycling Uphill writes of this climb:
“Mow Cop is a fantastic little climb on the border of Cheshire and Staffordshire. From the valley bottom, you can see the imposing ruins of Mow Cop castle at the top. Mow Cop was obviously an excellent defensive position in the days of medieval battles. These days Mow Cop is the scene of a different kind of struggle.”