Mam Tor is a 517 metre peak near Castleton in the High Peak area of Derbyshire, sitting on the edge of the gritstone Dark Peak and the limestone White Peak. Mam Tor is known as the Shivering Mountain, due to the number of landslips which have occurred over the years. It is composed of layers of shale and gritstone and the East Face is a loose expanse of crumbling rock. The area below the face is constantly on the move and heavy rain causes the shale to slip further down the valley. It is estimated that the mountain moves at the rate of one metre every five years. Mam Tor is also known as “Mother Hill”, since the crumbling shale has created several smaller hills below the summit. The main road from Stockport to Sheffield, the A625, which was built in the 1800s, went past Mam Tor, but in 1974, it was swept away by a landslide and the road was finally closed in 1979. It is possible to walk along the remains of the road.
The views from the summit of Mam Tor are superb, with Edale and Kinder Scout to the north and Hope Valley to the east. The only blot on this beautiful landscape is the huge chimney and buildings of Hope Cement Works that lie beyond the villages of Hope and Castleton in the valley below. There are the remains of a large Iron Age Fort on the highest point. The Trig Point on the summit is placed on top of an ancient burial ground, which probably dates from the Bronze Age. Excavations have revealed the foundations of many hut circles and a pottery, indicating that there was a complete village here, rather than just being a defensive site.
One of the most popular walks in the Peak District, is the spectacular Great Ridge walk from the summit of Mam Tor down to Hollins Cross and along to Back Tor and Lose Hill Pike. This four and a half miles round route follows simple, well laid out footpaths and is suitable for most ages and abilities. From Lose Hill can be seen the distinctive pointed summit of Win Hill, across Hope Valley and the expanse of Ladybower Reservoir. Win Hill and Lose Hill obtained their names from a Saxon battle that took place in 626 BC, between King Edwin of Northumbria and King Cuicholm of Wessex. Edwin defeated Cuicholm from the hill above, which became known as Win Hill.