Local Oddities.

Close to Mow Cop Castle can be found a strange rock formation which is known as the Old Man of Mow. It stands around 65 feet in height and appears to have been left from the quarrying which has taken place in this area. It has been speculated that a cairn used to be at this location sometime in the past, it has also been speculated that the rock formation was left as a visual boundary marker. I took the photograph from the rear of the rock formation by the triangulation point, from this angle and with some imagination you can see why it is called the Old Man of Mow as it resembles a person in a seated position.

High up on Congleton Edge can be found an unusual place for a cave. If you follow Mow lane for a few miles eventually you climb a steep hill, at the top you come to a pull in on the left, park here and if you walk a couple of hundred yards the cave can be found on your left. It is quite difficult to find as it is well camouflaged. I have not been able to find any information regarding its origin on the internet or anywhere else so if anyone has any information regarding it I would welcome it. I personally think that it is man made as when you enter it the cave opens up and is quite large inside, its length is about 40 yards and its width inside is about 15 yards at its widest point.

As there has been plenty of mining around this area I wonder whether this cave was created through exploratory mining activity. However these days there seems to be other sorts of activity taking place here, I found what appears to be a stone circle which has been created in the widest part of the cave. Perhaps it is totally innocent or maybe there is something more sinister going on here, maybe some type of ritual or perhaps black magic!

Another unusual local feature can be found in the lake in front of North Rode Hall. This looks to be a Victorian construction and seems to regulate the level in the lake as it acts as an overflow for the lake. I assume that there must be a feeder stream which flows into the lake somewhere and therefore this feature stops the lake from overflowing.

The lake water drops probably about ten to fifteen feet into a stone lined tunnel which is approximately eighty feet in length, this tunnel allows the water to flow under the road and carries it out into a dell where it forms a stream which flows for about three-quarters of a mile through some pasture land, it then flows under the road bridge at North Rode before it joins the river Dane at Colley Mill.

Mow Cop Castle can be found in the small village of Mow Cop which straddles the Staffordshire and Cheshire border. The castle was built as a folly and summer-house to be used for picnics and to take advantage of the spectacular views over the Cheshire plain by Randle Wilbraham I who used to live at Rode Hall.

It has been speculated that as the Romans had a small camp on the outskirts of Congleton that they may have made use of the hill where the castle would eventually be built. This hill commands wide views across the countryside and would have been an important strategic location, it has been speculated that a beacon may have been sited here to alert the Romans of any potential threat. Extensive renovation work was completed in 2003 as the foundations of the castle had become exposed and had started to erode, also masonry repointing was undertaken at this time. Although I can remember gaining access to the castle in the past, these days the castle can no longer be entered as in the past an attempted suicide took place and the mighty Health and Safety Executive intervened.

When I have driven down the A34 heading into Scholar Green I have passed a road on the left called Stone Chair Lane and often wondered how the name originated. One day I happened to come across a reference to the lane in a book and it said that there was a stone obelisk known as the Stone Chair which had used to stand at the junction of Stone Chair Lane and Station Road, Kent Green. According to the book the chair had been removed for safe keeping and taken to the grounds of nearby Rode Hall. When this had taken place it did not say, however it did state that the original chair took the form of a seated  woman with a basket in her hand, due to this it has been speculated that a market had been held here in the past for the sale of market produce.

On 30th of May which was a Bank Holiday Monday I called at Rode Hall to see if I could track down the Stone Chair, after paying my £4.00 which allowed me access to the gardens and being told the Stone Chair was located by the lake, I set off to find it. After hunting around the lake for a while and being unsuccessful I retraced my steps and veered right past the Stew pond, this took me into the wild garden and along narrow winding stone paths. By accident I came across the Stone Chair which is located close to the Grotto and which now has a stone table in front of it which is supported by a carved stone pedestal as can be seen in the photograph below.

In the graveyard of St Edwards Church in the town of Leek can be found an unusual gravestone. There must be a fountain of youth somewhere in this area because engraved on this headstone can be found the age of the person that died, and apparently he lived for 438 years, either that or the Stonemason who wrote the epitaph was having a bad day!

There is an unusual cobbled walkway which runs behind StPeter’s church in the town of Congleton. I have often wondered what this strange and creepy right of way has been used for and how it obtained its unusual name of Cock Shoots. Apparently the name dates back to Anglo Saxon times and the spelling of the name would have been different back then, however the name originated because back then nets would have been strategically placed to catch wild birds, pigeons, ducks etc, which would would have provided a much needed food source to the local people back then.

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2 Responses to “Local Oddities.”

  1. It is strange to find a cave in that location. After visiting I can professionaly say it is a neofolic settle, which would have been dated to the same era as the nearby Bridestones. This is honistly odd there must be alot of stone age history in this town. Amazing its still around says it hasn’t stopped being used for its purpose

  2. I used to live on Stone Chair Lane and believe the ‘chair’ was removed in the 1960s.

    Naturally, it was taken by the local Wilbraham family who felt it would look rather better hidden away in their garden than acting as a unique monument to the area which it belonged – such a wanton act of theft and vandalism wouldn’t be permitted today!

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