This is a short but steep ride from Alsager, that goes up to the Wedgewood Memorial near Red Street. If you have better weather than Dave and I had, you will be rewarded with spectacular views across Cheshire and Staffordshire.
Heading out from Alsager we took some quiet country lanes and a detour through Wood Lane to take the sting out of the big climb out of Bignall End:
An interactive version of this map can be found here. The last few hundred metres are across a field and not suitable for road bikes.
The monument is disappointing, and makes you wonder whether it’s better to leave a tatty uncared-for memorial, or none at all. Presumably this Wedgewood (not the famous one, in spite of his efforts to rectify this) thought that his descendants would tend the memorial with gratitude and devotion. Perhaps he would be more fondly remembered if he hadn’t spent the kid’s inheritance on this:
Actually it was worse than this, because the memorial used to be four times as high but was reduced in 1976 after ‘storm damage’. One more telling snippet of information is this – make of it what you will:
Below the hill are the remains of the Wedgwood-owned colliery – now a Nature Reserve and Historic Site of Biological Interest Grade 2 – where there were notable coal mining disasters in 1836, 1874 1895 and 1911 and 1912
On a good day the views from here are quite spectacular. Unfortunately the best we managed was this, looking towards Stoke:
The route returns through Talke Pits, Merelake Rd, and the path Merelake Way. Most of the return journey is downhill. (Well, obviously!) Total distance a short but strenuous 11 miles.