The climb is nearly 100% cobbles
The only all-cobble 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs route. From our experience cycling twice through Switzerland, these cobbles would not meet rigid Suisse standards!
Swiss Hill, England
Gold Standard of cobbled roads - Gothard Pass, Switzerland
It was painful riding this short climb on a road bike with 25 mm tires, and even more painful descending! While this unique climb is brief at just under 1 km, it is steep throughout with an average grade of 12.8% which includes a 100 meter section of 17%.
While the road is through a very wealthy residential neighborhood (serious mansions on this one!) on a terribly steep road, it was surprisingly congested during our brief time on it. We also saw our first cricket match on the route!
Alderley Edge Cricket Club - beginning of climb.
Very fun ride!
“A short steep cobbled climb, nestled in the Cheshire village of Alderley Edge. It is the start, which is the hardest part of this climb. From Mottram Road, you turn south east up Swiss Hill. The first 100m is a hard introduction with the gradient touching 20%, then there is a more gentle section, but as the road bends round to the right, there is another sting in the tail. At the top of Swiss Hill, the climb continues – turning right onto Woodbrook road. The difficulty lies in the cobbles of the climb, which are often damp because of the overhanging trees.” More
#71 on Simon Warren’s list, Swiss Hill begins in the village of Alderley Edge (pop. 4,638):
“Alderley Edge is a village and civil parish in Cheshire, England. In 2011, it had a population of 4,638.
Alderley Edge is 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Macclesfield and 15 miles (24 km) south of Manchester, at the base of a steep and thickly wooded sandstone ridge, Alderley Edge, which is the area's chief topographical feature and overlooks the Cheshire Plain.
Alderley Edge is known for its affluence and expensive houses, falling inside Cheshire's Golden Triangle.Alderley Edge has a selection of cafes and designer shops and has attracted numerous Premier League footballers, actors and multi-millionaire businesspeople. It is one of the most expensive and sought-after places to live in the UK outside central London.
The area around Alderley Edge provides proof of occupation since the Mesolithic period with flint implements being found along the line of the sandstone outcrop. Evidence of copper mining in the Bronze Age has also been found to the south of the area. In 1995 members of the Derbyshire Caving Club found a hoard of 564 coins of the Roman Empire (now in the Manchester Museum) dating from AD 317 to AD 336. There are to date 13 recorded sites on the County Sites and Monuments Record (CSMR) in the settled area of Alderley Edge and 28 in Nether Alderley, with a further 44 along the Edge.
Early medieval settlements are recorded at Nether Alderley, to the south of Alderley Edge. The first written evidence of Alderley Edge, known then as 'Chorlegh' (later spelt as 'Chorley') appeared in the 13th century, the likely derivation being from ceorl and lēah, meaning a peasants' clearing. Although not mentioned in the Domesday Book, it is included in a charter of c.1280. The name 'Alderley' first appears in 1086 as 'Aldredelie'. Several versions of the origin are known: one says it originated from Aldred and leah meaning 'Aldred's Clearing'. Another says it is most likely that the name Alderley came from Old English language 'Alðrȳðelēah' meaning "the meadow or woodland clearing of a woman called Alðrȳð.
In the 13th century and during the Middle Ages, the area comprised estates that had many owners. Since the 15th century, most of them have belonged to the De Trafford baronets. The principal manors were based on the 14th century Chorley Old Hall, which is south-west of Alderley Edge, and the Old Hall, at Nether Alderley, a 16th-century building burnt down in 1779. The economies of Chorley and Nether Alderley were dominated by agriculture with a market charter granted at Nether Alderley in c.1253. Nether Alderley Mill dates back to 1391, although the present timber structure is 16th century. The millpond was adapted to form the moat, which surrounded the Old Hall, the home of the Stanley family. The corn mill continued to be worked until 1939 when Edward Stanley, 6th Baron Stanley of Alderley was compelled to sell it, along with the rest of the Alderley Park estate, to meet the cost of death duties. In the 1950s the National Trust bought the site and has since restored the building and opened it to the public.
Cheshire had its own system of taxes in the mediaeval period, the Mize, and in the records for 1405 Chorley was assessed at 20s 0d and Nether Alderley at 27s 0d.
Lead and copper mining on the Edge is documented in the late 17th century and 18th century. After the destruction of the Old Hall in the late 18th century, the Stanley family moved to Park House on the south edge of Alderley Park, and house and park were afterwards much extended. Throughout the 19th century Nether Alderley remained under the control of the Stanleys and the lack of development pressure meant that the dispersed medieval settlement pattern was retained. In 1830 Chorley consisted of only a few cottages, the De Trafford Arms Inn, a toll bar, and a smithy, straggling along the Congleton to Manchester Road.
The coming of the railway in 1842 with the construction of the Stockport to Crewe section of the main Manchester and Birmingham Railway changed all this. The Manchester and Birmingham Railway Company built the line through Chorley, offering free season tickets for 20 years to Manchester businessmen who built houses with a rateable value of more than £50 within a mile of the station. This 'season ticket' was in the form of a small silver oval which could be worn on a watch chain.
The railway also gave Alderley Edge its current name. As the railway network expanded and travel became easier, the railway company did not want its station called Chorley because of the possible confusion with Chorley in Lancashire. So, in 1880 they renamed it Alderley Edge railway station, against much opposition, taking the old name for the village and the name of the sandstone escarpment already known as The Edge. The name Chorley, Macclesfield is retained by the civil parish to the northwest of Alderley Edge.” Wikipedia - Alderley Edge
Top 10 things to do around Alderley Edge.
TourdeFranceontv.co.uk: (this is a very nice article on Swiss Hill - quite worthy of review):
“The exact length and average gradient rather depend on what you consider to be the start and end. It’s roughly 700m at 10% which is in the same ballpark as the legendary Koppenberg, which is 600m at 11.6%; and it perhaps trumps the Paterberg, which is 360m at 12.9%.” More