Mow Cop Castle in the Frame of an Amateur Photographer

Updated on September 6, 2017

Where in the UK to find Mow Cop Castle (folly)

The mock tower known locally as Mow Cop castle is located in the civil parish of Odd Rode in Cheshire, England, UK and rises 355m above sea level. It was built as a summer house in 1754 by Randle Wilbraham who was local Lord of the Manor at Rode Hall situated some 3 miles away.

This tower is visible for miles around and is a major landmark visited throughout the year. The tower gives almost unlimited 360-degree views of the Cheshire plains and The Potteries. The Jodrell Bank radio telescope can easily be identified on the Cheshire plains.

The location is easily accessible by road, though near to the tower the roads steepen considerably and when there is lying snow then access by motor vehicle may be impossible.

Opening hours are listed below and Car Parking is free but with limited spaces, The site of the folly is managed and maintained by The National Trust.

There are no public conveniences or other public facilities at this site.

The terrain of the area can be slippery during wet weather and trainers or pumps are not suitable, sturdy footwear should be worn.

There are steep cliffs and rocky outcrops in the near vicinity of the tower which present a serious risk to personal safety. Caution should be exercised at all times.

The National Trust's Mow Cop Castle (folly) is a grade 2 listed building.

Mow Cop Castle (folly) falls within the Gritstone trail. Car park opening hours are as listed in the image. It can be a very busy place during spells of fine weather and securing a parking space locally may be difficult.
Mow Cop Castle (folly) falls within the Gritstone trail. Car park opening hours are as listed in the image. It can be a very busy place during spells of fine weather and securing a parking space locally may be difficult. | Source

The DSLR camera kit I used for this photoset

My primary kit consisted of an Olympus E-400 DSLR with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens attached which I purchased some years ago because I was attracted by its small size and lighter weight that regular DSLR's. Accompanying my DSLR I always have my Apple iphone 7plus to hand for taking snapshots but was not used on this occasion. I slung the camera strap around my neck and put a dusting brush and spare battery in my pocket, I had no need for the holdall and other accessories. When photographing on location, or for that matter whenever I'm outdoors I always wear cargo trousers, with their additional generously proportioned pockets I'm never without a place to store my equipment along with other paraphenalia.

I left my tripod in the car as I found the need for one was unnecessary as the weather was mild and quite bright with only a slight breeze, I felt I could readily manage shutter speeds as low as one sixtieth of a second if I maintained a balanced stance and a firm hold onto the camera. The second consideration being that the ground is very uneven requiring rock scrambling in places and I concluded a tripod would burden my mobility.

I photographed all the images in the Olympus RAW image format (.orf) which applies either no compression or lossless compression and no image processing. As RAW image files are not compressed to the extent of JPEG files, the file sizes are much larger. The file size is worth it, since shooting in RAW offers the most control by allowing you to adjust exposure compensation, white balance, sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color space as you convert the image with capable PC software to a file format such as TIFF or JPEG. All the images in this photoset have been edited and enhanced.

I consider myself as an amateur photographer with a passion but quite a low skill base. I believe I'm knowledgeable in most areas of creativity with this digital platform but a master of none. I conclude that most of my images are due to chance and not a hard skill set.

EXIF information for the photographs in this photoset can be found by clicking on the source link - martyn wright - listed below each image and when on the source page by scrolling downwards.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Perched on the summit of a rocky gritstone outcrop The tower or Mow Cop castle is a striking landmark that can be seen from miles around.Mow Cop is a village that straddles the Staffordshire/Cheshire border and Mow Cop castle has been a familiar site to anyone who has lived in the area in the last 250 years.Mow Cop Castle is a grade 2 listed building which boasts spectacular views across The Potteries and the Cheshire plains. The area around the castle was nationally famous for the quarrying of high-quality millstones for use in water mills. Excavations at Mow Cop have found remains of quarrying  dating back to the Iron Age.The tower has suffered neglect over the years and nowadays represents little of its former glorious days. It was renovated in 2002In 1999 The National Trust decided to protect people from themselves as there had been an instance of suicide and made sure no one could enter the Castle and sit in the windows or fireplace, iron bars were added and a large iron gate was padlocked The ridge, upon which the castle sits, forms the boundary between the counties of Cheshire and Staffordshire, the dioceses of Chester and Lichfield and the ecclesiastical provinces of Canterbury and York.The treacherous sheer drop adjacent to the entrance of  the tower.In 1937 over ten thousand Methodists met on the hill to commemorate the first Primitive Methodist camp meeting there.
Perched on the summit of a rocky gritstone outcrop The tower or Mow Cop castle is a striking landmark that can be seen from miles around.
Perched on the summit of a rocky gritstone outcrop The tower or Mow Cop castle is a striking landmark that can be seen from miles around. | Source
Mow Cop is a village that straddles the Staffordshire/Cheshire border and Mow Cop castle has been a familiar site to anyone who has lived in the area in the last 250 years.
Mow Cop is a village that straddles the Staffordshire/Cheshire border and Mow Cop castle has been a familiar site to anyone who has lived in the area in the last 250 years. | Source
Mow Cop Castle is a grade 2 listed building which boasts spectacular views across The Potteries and the Cheshire plains.
Mow Cop Castle is a grade 2 listed building which boasts spectacular views across The Potteries and the Cheshire plains. | Source
The area around the castle was nationally famous for the quarrying of high-quality millstones for use in water mills. Excavations at Mow Cop have found remains of quarrying  dating back to the Iron Age.
The area around the castle was nationally famous for the quarrying of high-quality millstones for use in water mills. Excavations at Mow Cop have found remains of quarrying dating back to the Iron Age. | Source
The tower has suffered neglect over the years and nowadays represents little of its former glorious days. It was renovated in 2002
The tower has suffered neglect over the years and nowadays represents little of its former glorious days. It was renovated in 2002 | Source
In 1999 The National Trust decided to protect people from themselves as there had been an instance of suicide and made sure no one could enter the Castle and sit in the windows or fireplace, iron bars were added and a large iron gate was padlocked
In 1999 The National Trust decided to protect people from themselves as there had been an instance of suicide and made sure no one could enter the Castle and sit in the windows or fireplace, iron bars were added and a large iron gate was padlocked | Source
The ridge, upon which the castle sits, forms the boundary between the counties of Cheshire and Staffordshire, the dioceses of Chester and Lichfield and the ecclesiastical provinces of Canterbury and York.
The ridge, upon which the castle sits, forms the boundary between the counties of Cheshire and Staffordshire, the dioceses of Chester and Lichfield and the ecclesiastical provinces of Canterbury and York. | Source
The treacherous sheer drop adjacent to the entrance of  the tower.
The treacherous sheer drop adjacent to the entrance of the tower. | Source
In 1937 over ten thousand Methodists met on the hill to commemorate the first Primitive Methodist camp meeting there.
In 1937 over ten thousand Methodists met on the hill to commemorate the first Primitive Methodist camp meeting there. | Source

Metering and Exposure.

Exposure for each image of the photoset was either spot or multi segment metered with the camera set in manual mode then the exposure taken if I deemed the end result would be blured free. Some of the images were hastily shot in the auto mode as in one or two instances I was perched perilously close to cliff edges and I didn't really want to be there. In most instances I wanted full depth of field and stopped down to f/16.

Do you utilise RAW image file format capabilities if available on your camera?

Do you utilise RAW? It does not matter how often!

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Location of Mow Cop Castle (folly)

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      • Marco Arista profile image

        Marco Arista 

        14 months ago from Italy

        Wow what a place. Also nice pictures, good job, keep up the cargo trousers-trekking/shooting work!!! About your poll,even my phone shoots in raw format, it's incredible how good some cameras have gotten in phones in the last few years

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