If you ever drive on the A34 between Stoke-on-Trent and Congleton, look to your left as you are driving North, just past little Moreton Hall. You might catch a glimpse of Mow Cop on top of the hill…
Mow Cop is a folly, built to look like a castle, and it stands above the village of Mow Cop, giving views of the Cheshire plain and Shropshire and the Welsh hills.
We decided to visit today as a group I am in- Stoke USK, (urban sketchers group) is due to visit on Saturday but I can’t make it.
I did some brief sketches of the castle and the view, clouds were quite low over the plain and rain was threatening. I irritated myself because I started the castle drawing too far over the page so had to start again.
While we were there we saw a carved stone with lettering on it. I could just make out the words. “To the Glory of God
A camp meeting near this spot on May 31st 1807 began the Religious Revival led by Hugh Bourne and William Clowes known as Primitive Methodism (unveiled?) By the president of the Methodist Conference 13th May 1948”
I knew that the Methodists had started in the area; Bethesda chapel in Hanley , the city centre of Stoke on Trent, is currently being restored. I imagined people gathering at Mow Cop, listening to the Victorian preachers, in rain, wind and hail. A romantic view I know. But the place is very atmospheric.
We finally tried to walk up to the castle, but the steep steps defeated me so I only got half way up. Richard managed a bit further.
Want to visit? The castle is a bit difficult to find. Once you are on the hill you can’t see it as well. However there is a good sized car park when you get there. You will see a National Trust notice board and it gives the opening times. Roads approach from the A34 and a road from Tunstall in Stoke-on-Trent.