Rowsley Bar (SW #34) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Rowsley Bar (SW #34)

United Kingdom

All the cycling data and info you'll need to climb Rowsley Bar (SW #34)

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Climb Summary

 Very narrow road     



Steepest ½ kilometer begins at 400 meters (16.2%)

Carlton Bank hosted the British National Hill Climb Championships in 1997 (Stuart Dangerfield wins the third of his 3 consecutive championships this year, 5 championships overall).  

The climb begins at the western edge of Rosley and hits double digits almost immediatley.  While the stiffest part of the climb is a murderous 100 meters through the on hairpin on the climb (600 to 700 meters), this one is a brute throughout.  The climb is initially through open fields partially blocked by trees bordering the road, but enters a thickly wooded area at the half-way mark that blocks any views beyond the roads border thereafter.    


Road bordered by thick woods last half.

You will know you are the top when you see the the Rowsley Bar Farm sign to your right.


Rowsley Bar Farm at the finish.

The road is in good condition as of September, 2018 but oddly enough had a fair amount of traffic on it during our brief time on the hill.  

#34 on the Greatest 100 list  begins just outside the eastern border of Peak District National Park - the UK’s first national park (and travels away from the park):

“The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. It is mostly in northern Derbyshire, but also includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. An area of great diversity, it is split into the northern Dark Peak, where most of the moorland is found and the geology is gritstone, the southern White Peak, where most of the population lives and the geology is mainly limestone, and the South West Peak, with landscapes similar to both the Dark and White Peaks.

The Peak District National Park became the first national park in the United Kingdom in 1951. With its proximity to the cities of Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Sheffield, and easy access by road and rail, it attracts millions of visitors every year.”
Wikipedia - Peak District   


“Rowsley is a village on the A6 road in the English county of Derbyshire. The population as at the 2011 census was 507.  It is at the point where the River Wye flows into the River Derwent and prospered from mills on both. The border of the Peak District National Park runs through the village west of the River Wye and immediately to the north of Chatsworth Road.

Notable features are the bridge over the River Derwent, St Katherine's Church, Rowsley and the Grade-II*-listed[4] Peacock hotel, originally built in 1652 as a manor house by John Stevenson, agent to Lady Manners, whose family crest bearing a peacock gives it its name. Both Longfellow and Landseer are said to have stayed there. Nearby is Chatsworth House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

It was the site of an extensive motive power depot and marshalling yard, the first being built by the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway with a railway station designed by Joseph Paxton in 1849. This was replaced by a new station when the line was extended northwards in 1862. It was frequently used by King Edward VII when he visited Chatsworth House. The original station became a goods depot until 1968, when it was used as a contractor's yard. It then became the centrepiece of a shopping development known as Peak Village.”  
Wikipedia - Rowsley

“If you’re looking for a tough climb which bites from bottom to top, then Rowsley Bar could be the one for you. Starting just outside the extremity of the Peak District, heading outwards from the village of Rowsley, you’re faced with a steadily increasing gradient from the get go.  

From the start point, where you turn off from Chatsworth Road (this one’s a great climb to do in the area around the famous Chatsworth House), the road heads steadily upwards until you reach the switchbacks. It’s at these bends in the road that the steepest gradient is found, at around 25 per cent, before straightening up again for the finale.

It’s a climb well-traveled by riders from around the country, and is well known by the folks at British Cycling, so should be one for your wish list too.”