Saint Lawrence’s Church, Church Street just before start of climb.
This is a climb well known to British cyclists. Dovers Hill has hosted the British National Hill Climb Championships six times, more than any other hill.
Photos clockwise from top right
Pete Gannon 1968 @mission753; Granville Sydney 1973 @mission753;
Gareth Armitage 1978 @mission753; Jeff Williams 1982 @mission753;
Jim Henderson 1998 (1 of 5) 1998 Southportcyclingclub.co; Dan Fleeman 2010 Cyclingweekly.com.
The most intriguing point of interest on this climb by far is Saint Lawrence’s Church, aptly located on Church Street, 200 meters to the north of the start of the climb. The church itself dates back to the twelfth century, and its tower to the fifteenth.
The headstones in the church cemetary (many of which are so weathered as to be unreadable) date back as far as 1675, and coffins to 1446. For more church history, see Cotswold Edge North Benefice.
The climb itself is steep at 9.5% but the views are generally unremarkable.
The first kilometer averages 10.5%, but the climb softens thereafter and we finish up the final 300 meters at just under 6%.
At the summit there is a sign for Dovers Hill, and a parking lot just across from it from which broad grass hiking trails begin.
1.35 km mark, finish of climb.
Steepest ½ kilometer begins at 400 meters (11.1%).
The climb has been often included in the British National Hill Climb Championships -- in 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1998 and 2010 (Cycling Uphill).
British Hill Climb Championship Finish at Dovers Hill.
This climb is at the northern tip of Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is part of The National Trust:
“The Cotswolds is an area in south central England containing the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills which rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the UK and that is quarried for the golden coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this mineral; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens. The population of the District is about 84,000.
The Cotswolds covers 2,038 km2 (504,000 acres) and is the second largest protected landscape in England (second to the Lake District.) Its boundaries are roughly 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (140 km) long, stretching south-west from just south of Stratford-upon-Avon to just south of Bath. It lies across the boundaries of several English counties; mainly Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, and parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The hills give their name to the Cotswold local-government district in Gloucestershire, which administers a large part of the area. The highest point of the region is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), just to the north of Cheltenham” (Cotswolds).
A little history:
“This Cotswold village, recorded in the Domesday Book, lies at the foot of Dovers Hill. Named after Robert Dover who organised his ‘Olimpick’ Games there from 1612, it is a well-known beauty spot with extensive views over the surrounding countryside. The Cotswold Olimpick Games, held annually, were revived in 1966. The Bowling Club, formed in 1987, has adopted certain features – their blazer badge is the silver castle (presented then as a prize in some events) while Robert Dover can be seen on the men’s ties. The designs are taken from the frontispiece to the “Annalia Dubrensia”, a book of poems written in praise of Robert Dover and published in 1636. The hill was gifted to The National Trust in 1928 and lies within the Cotswolds AONB.
The Romans occupied Weston from the 2nd Century AD, a date based on coins and pottery found in the village. Their Ryknild Street (now called Buckle Street) forms the parish boundary with Saintbury and provided a link with Watling Street and The Fosse Way. Weston, said to have been a station for the Imperial Post, lies roughly halfway between Alcester and Slaughter Bridge, near Bourton-on-the-Water, where Ryknild joins the Fosse. There are three listed Romano-British sites in the village, including one just below the Lynches Wood. It is said that the Romans grew their vines on the clearly defined terraces there. Not far from the hill is the Kiftsgate Stone, the stone pillar marking the Kiftsgate Hundred. It is an ancient monument. Here in Saxon times, the Court of the Hundred met and public announcements were proclaimed. The Stone can be seen on the boundary of Weston Park, almost 200 acres of ancient woodland, first sold from the Giffard Estate in 1610. It still remains in private hands. A boundary stone at the south end of the parish was erected in the 18th century and has been designated as a listed building.
The manor house, next to the church, was built in the late 17th century. The village has some stone houses and a public house, called the Seagrave Arms which was built in the 17th century. The school, built in 1852, was closed in 1985, and the small post office closed in 2008” (Weston-sub-Edge).