Joseph Lovatt (1873-1945)

Joseph Lovatt was born in Rookery just below Mow Cop on 1 st July 1873, buy his 23 rd Birthday he was married. He was at first a Baker like his Father and even expanded to include other groceries. In 1902 he built his own bake house at Fir Close and delivered brad all over Mow Cop. By 1906 he had made enough money to build the rather grand looking West View with Coach House tables and outbuildings.

He would by property whenever he got the chance. In 1918 and 1922 he bought from the Bishop of Derby and Sir Philip Baker-Wilbraham of Rode Hall much of the Land around the Castle and the Old man of Mow, he also bought the land on the Staffordshire side from the Sneyd Trustees.
Joe started to clear the old quarries of rubble and then started to quarry out new rock, this was mainly for the roads in Cheshire and building.
He paid his men £1 a week for loading sandstone from the Castle banks and was even going to build a bandstand next to the Castle, this however was met with much hostility. By now a lot of locals were against him, as they apparently feared the already ruined Castle was going to be damaged even more.

As people returned from the Great War in poverty he became more unpopular and West View was nicknamed “The Manor House” Joseph all through his life he was a Methodist preacher and was often in the local circuit teaching at many different locations. He was keen on local history and wanted to preserve the Castle and in 1923 made the offer

“If the public will repair the Castle on Mow Cop, I will hand over the same with half an acre of ground thereabouts of land in the vicinity for pleasure or sports ground to any representative body, on condition that any surplus profits left over after up-keep has been provided for, shall be handed over to any public institution devoted to the care of the sick…”

Joe carried on quarrying, he was getting 4/- a ton for Mow Cop stone, there were disputed and court cases as Joe had damaged footpaths across the land, and no one seemed to know exactly what the law was for common land and access rights. The quarrying eventually stopped and the land was handed over to the National Trust in 1937. Joseph left Mow Cop and moved the Avenue in Kidsgrove.
All his life Joe remained a keen Methodist Preacher and was often heard preaching on the local circuit