Mow Cop (finally remembered how to go to sleep)

On Friday we packed a picnic and went for a walk taking in Mow Cop, a hill of just over 1,000’.  I know it’s not particularly high, but it is prominent as you pass through the area.   Other than the views there are two items of interest at the top: The Old Man of Mow and the Mow Cop folly.  The village on the hill and spreading down one of the sides is also called Mow Cop.

Karen thought this picture was funny, not sure why ūüėČ

Mentioning old men reminded me that I have finally worked out how to lie in bed when going to sleep.  I have always been at a loss to remember what position to be in to go to sleep.  Even now that I have to get up at night, you would think I could remember what position I was laying in when I woke up, but no, every position ends up giving me a dead arm or leg or pins and needles or a combination.  Anyway, we have recently sussed it and after 63 years I finally know what position to lay in to go to sleep ūüėä

On the way up, we passed the usual footpath markers, but it was only then that I realised we were in Cheshire:

Back to Mow Cop, the Old Man of Mow stands in an area of millstone grit that was quarried for querns (mill stones).  It really isn’t clear why this 65-foot column of rock was left standing and if you research on the web there are several plausible theories.  I rather like the theory that the top of it was the original summit and that to respect the height of the hill, the quarrymen worked round it.  Whatever the reason, you can see what an impressive amount of stone had been hewn away for millstones.

The Old Man of Mow (or Karen has found her old man)

We then wandered over to the folly which was built to look like a castle.  It was built in 1754 as a summer house for the local lord of the manor, Randle Wilbraham.

Tower folly
We sat as near the top as possible and ate our picnic, taking in the marvellous views of the Peak District mountains, Manchester and Welsh mountains.

Although we were walking in tee shirts it wasn’t quite warm enough to bring the butterflies out, but we did see a red admiral, a large white and an orange tip in a particularly well sheltered spot.

Karen remembered that when we came up here three years ago in April (the 22nd) that it was so warm we were wearing sandals.

Not clear but I think the white area in the far distance is Manchester under some sun

We received further emails during the day updating us on the leak at Macclesfield which is currently preventing us heading up to the Peak Forest canal to get to Bugsworth.

Our boatbuilder, Darren, and his wife Sarah live on a narrowboat and we had hoped to meet up with them around here.  They turned around when the leak first happened and are on their way to Middlewich on the Trent & Mersey, so we will miss them this time.  After chatting with Darren on the phone today we hope to meet up in a few weeks when they are heading out of Manchester and we are heading in.

The latest update seems to say a temporary fix may happen by the weekend which is rather what we suspected would happen.  With so many unplanned stoppages at the moment they would want to keep as many routes open as possible and effect proper fixes out of season.  Unfortunately, for winter cruisers it will probably mean more winter stoppages than usual thus making journey planning more tricky than usual.

One of the updates

Talking about unplanned stoppages they don’t just happen here; Mike and Aileen, who are currently cruising the French system are now stuck at a lock which has been taken out of action. It seems they may be stuck for a week before moving on.  It’s things like this that make you realise that it’s always sensible to keep the water and fuel topped up whenever possible.

On the way back down a friendly cow was walking down the same path and we wondered if she had got lost.  When we got nearer she turned off and managed to get up the steep bank and join the herd who were in the field next to the woods.

Heifer on our path

When we got home the sun, that had been out all day in the south, came out so we sat outside for a couple of hours.  Whilst reflecting on the day we realised that we have got back into the swing of things now Karen has stopped work again.  We obviously need to plan how to get to family events but, other than that, it’s great not having to worry or decide whether to move or not each day.


We are moored opposite six boats on permanent residential moorings.  When we first came up here we thought they were in the best location we have ever seen (if you want to live with other people around).  We still think the same but neither of us think we would ever want to do the same.

Three of the residential boats opposite us

As it’s the bank holiday weekend we will probably stay put by which time we’ll know whether the stoppage has definitely been lifted or not.  Tomorrow we plan on having a good cycle ride now the towpaths have dried out.  We will also pop into Congleton to pick up our weekly newspaper and a few other odds and sods.

Stop press: We received an email at 8pm saying the canal is now open but they will have to monitor it over the weekend so we will still stay put and reassess on Monday.


Steve Parkin said...

I see from your photo of the cast iron railings that you are near Ramsdell Hall. We moored up there in 2015. It is a lovely spot. I presume the sign noted the restoration of the railings is still there.


Neil & Karen Payne said...

Yes Steve, the sign is still there and looks like it has been repainted since 2015 when we were also last here. It is a lovely spot so we will probably stay until the Bank Holiday. Cheers, Neil