To Kent Green (April 28)

We left Church Lawton in rain and, although we did have quite a lot of heavy showers, the day was mostly dry. As we moved up Red Bull locks, Wilbraham’s Folly on the top of Mow Cop was shrouded in mist. Our aim today was to explore Hall Green, on the Macclesfield Canal, where Steve’s paternal grandmother was born, and investigate Mow Cop, which has close connections to the Parkin family. Mow Cop was where Bourne and Clowes held the first Primitive Methodist camp in May, 1807. Steve’s great grandfather was a leading Primitive Methodist (Vice-President), and his great-great grandfather who was a Primitive Methodist Minister.

At the top of the Red Bull flight, we turned onto the Macclesfield Canal and moored up just after the stop lock at Hall Green. There were originally two stop locks and two lock cottages here, one for the Trent and Mersey Canal and one for the Macclesfield Canal.

Hall Green Stop Lock
(originally two stop locks with two cottages for the Trent and Mersey, and Macclesfield Canals)

Steve has traced his ancestors in Hall Green back to the 1840s with one, George Fryer, declaring his profession as a boatwright in the 1841 census. Most, however, worked in the local coalmines. Apart for the stop lock cottages, there is little evidence of old properties and none of mining in Hall Green.

We moved onto some visitor moorings near Bridge 87. Despite the reasonable water levels, it appears that the Macclesfield is shallow. We are well out from the bank, particularly at the stern and several passing boaters have commented that it is “always like this”.

After lunch, we decided to climb Mow Cop. According to Person’s Cheshire Ring guide the climb from bridge 87 to Mow Cop is route of the “Killer Mile” a run that four-minute mile runners do in 6 minutes 20 seconds. This annual event is due to be held on May 7. We climbed to the folly, which is around 2 miles, in about 40 minutes. At our age we often stop to “admire the view”. There are certainly some impressive gradients with one, close to the Cheshire View pub, marked as 25%. Pearson claims some are 1 in 3.

Mow Cop Killer Mile

The climb to Mow Cop

The views from the top were breathtaking even with low rain clouds skirting the Peak district and running along the Mersey Valley. In the distance, just below the cloud line, we could make out the outline of the Wrekin. A memorial stone close to the folly commemorates the Primitive Methodist Camps.

Wilbraham's Folly and memorial stone on the summit of Mow Cop

View from Mow Cop towards the Mersey

We looked at the large Primitive Methodist chapel, which must have been visited by several of Steve’s ancestors, and then descended the hill back to the canal using the Gritstone Trail. We arrived back at Albert just as an enormous clap of thunder rolled around Mow Cop and the heavens opened. There is an inviting pub, the Rising Sun, close by. We will probably reward our exertions by a visit as long as the rain does not get any worse.

Yet again only low level GPRS so no images. When we get into G3 territory we will have to do a lot of uploading to catch up.

Images added later.