Northern Monument #12

Mow Cop Castle, built on the ridge upon which the boundary between the counties of Cheshire and Staffordshire are formed. It is widely believed that the castle was built as a summerhouse in 1754 for Randle Wilbraham I of Rode Hall, and designed to deliberately impersonate part of a castle of a bygone era, therby enhancing the view of the newly constructed Rode Hall some 3 miles away on the Cheshire side of the hill. One of the strangest facts about the building is that it isn't actually a ruin atall; at least not in a traditional sense, as the wall was in fact always broken so as to have 'effect' of a ruin when looked at from the valley by people visiting the estate. To boast having a ruin of a castle on your land was considered to give an impression of a rich and long-lasting family heritage. Due to its placement on the border of two counties, Mow Cop has on several occasions been the focus of many quarrels, court cases and legal battles regarding its ownership and use of the land as well as the building itself. The public were forced to react in the 1920's when the land was sold to a Mr.Joe Lavatt, and the surrounding land was quarried to the point where the fate of the building was thought to be in danger. A bitter legal wrangle lasted for over a decade, eventually the building was saved and the public acquired the land, immediately handing it over to the National Trust who have protected it ever since.