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Firery Sunset (The view is from Mow Cop Staffordshire)

The Cheshire Plain is a relatively flat expanse of lowland almost entirely within the county of Cheshire in north-west England. It extends from the Mersey Valley in the north to the Shropshire Hills in the south, bounded by the hills of north Wales to the west and the foothills of the Pennines to the north-east.[1] The Wirral Peninsula lies to the north-west whilst the plain merges with the South Lancashire Plain in the embayment occupied by Manchester to the north. In detail, the plain comprises two areas with distinct characters, the one to the west of the Mid Cheshire Ridge and the other, larger, part to its east. The plain is the surface expression of the Cheshire Basin, a deep sedimentary basin that extends north into Lancashire and south into Shropshire. It assumed its current form as the ice-sheets of the last ice age melted away between 20,000 and 15,000 years ago leaving behind a thick cover of glacial till and extensive tracts of glacio-fluvial sand and gravel.The primary agricultural use of the Cheshire Plain is dairy farming, creating the general appearance of enclosed hedgerow fields.

Meteorologists use the term Cheshire Gap when referring to the lowlands of the Cheshire Plain, providing as they do a passage between the Clwydian Hills, in Wales on the one hand and the Peak District and South Pennines on the other. Weather systems are often guided down this "gap", penetrating much further inland than elsewhere along the coast of the Irish Sea. Mow Cop is an isolated village which straddles the Cheshire–Staffordshire 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.

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.

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.

Ref: DP274

Gallery: Scenery

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Firery Sunset

Over the Cheshire Plains from Mow Cop


Country: England

United Kingdom.