The British Landscape Club

Layby of the week: Under Mam Tor

Today's Layby of the Week comes from the Peak District near the town of Castleton in Derbyshire and, as well as a nice view, it's a rare case of a layby that is caused by the landscape. Originally the A625 wound its way up this slope on its way from Sheffield to Manchester, a less precipitous route than Winnats Pass to the south. But there was a problem: the road was built on an unconsolidated scree of shale that had slumped off Mam Tor during an exceptionally wet period around 4000 years ago - you can still see the cliff on the Tor. Rather than a discreet event, this landslide continues today at a rate of about a quarter of metre (about 10") a year. This movement damned all attempts to repair and reconstruct the road and eventually, in 1979 after two years as a single track carriageway, the A625 was permanently closed to through traffic.

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Mam Tor is also known as the shivering mountain as a result of this instability. What's left of the road is still making its way down the valley.