Mow Cop

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Mow Cop
Mow Cop Castle
Mow Cop Castle
Mow Cop is located in Cheshire
Mow Cop
Mow Cop
 Mow Cop shown within Cheshire
OS grid reference SJ855573
Civil parish Odd Rode
District Cheshire East
Shire county Cheshire
Region North West
West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district ST7
Dialling code 01782
Police Cheshire
Fire Cheshire
Ambulance North West
West Midlands
EU Parliament North West England
West Midlands
UK Parliament Congleton
Staffordshire Moorlands
List of places

Coordinates: 53°06′47″N 2°13′03″W / 53.112973°N 2.217582°W / 53.112973; -2.217582

Mow Cop /ˈmˈkɒp/ is an isolated village which straddles the CheshireStaffordshire border, and is divided between the North West and West Midlands regions of England. It is 24 miles south of Manchester and 6 miles north of Stoke-on-Trent.

The name is first recorded as "Mowel" around 1270 AD, and is believed to be derived from either the Anglo-Saxon Mūga-hyll, meaning "heap-hill", with copp = "head" added later, or the Common Celtic ancestor of Welsh moel (= hill), with Anglo-Saxon copp added later.[1]

At the village's summit, men once quarried stone to make into querns, used since the Iron Age for milling corn; this trade ended during the Victorian period. The village also has a long history of coal mining. A 65ft rock feature called the Old Man O'Mow sits in one of the quarry areas and is believed to be the site of an ancient cairn. The most dominant feature is Mow Cop Castle which is a folly of a ruined castle at the summit of the hill, built in 1754. Both Mow Cop and Old Man O'Mow are under the management of the National Trust and sit on the walking route of the Cheshire Gritstone Trail. The village was served by a railway station which was opened by the North Staffordshire Railway on 9 October 1848.

Mow Cop is also noteworthy as the birthplace of the Primitive Methodist movement. Starting in 1800, Hugh Bourne from Stoke-on-Trent and William Clowes from Burslem began holding open-air prayer meetings. On 31 May 1807, a large 14-hour camp meeting was held, leading to development of the Primitive Methodist Church in 1810. These camp meetings became a regular feature at Mow Cop, with camps held to celebrate the 100th, 150th and 200th anniversaries of the first camp.[2]

Since the late 20th century, Mow Cop is known for its Killer Mile, a one-mile road race from the railway level crossing on the western side of the hill, up to the castle. The race was first organized in the early 1980s by John Britton, and sponsored by ICL (Kidsgrove). It continues today, organised by the Mow Cop Residents' Association. Mow Cop Runners, a local running club founded in 2009, meet at the Ash Inn and organise The Mow Cop Hill Race, a 6.5 mile fell race. The climb is also well known among local cyclists and features in the 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs in Britain.[3]

Representation in other media[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

  • Alan Jones, former Port Vale Football Club Director
  • Jack Simcock (born 6 June 1929; died 13 May 2012), artist

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Kent, Jeff (2013). Staffordshire's 1,000-Foot Peaks. Witan Books. ISBN 978-0-9927505-0-3. 
  2. ^ Farndale, W. E. (1950). The Secret of Mow Cop: A New Appraisal of the Origins of Primitive Methodism. London: Epworth Press. 
  3. ^ Warren, Simon (2010). 100 greatest cycling climbs : a road cyclist's guide to Britain's hills. London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 9780711231207.