Haweswater

Haweswater

Haweswater

Haweswater

Haweswater is a reservoir in the English Lake District, built in the valley of Mardale in the county of Cumbria. The controversial construction of the Haweswater dam started in 1929, after Parliament passed an Act giving the Manchester Corporation permission to build the reservoir to supply water for the urban conurbations of north-west England. At the time, there was public outcry about the decision, as the valley of Mardale was populated by the farming villages of Measand and Mardale Green and the construction of the reservoir would mean that these villages would be flooded and lost and the population would have to be moved. In addition, the valley was considered one of the most picturesque in Westmorland and many people thought it should be left alone.

Originally, Haweswater was a natural lake about four kilometres long, almost divided in two by a tongue of land at Measand; the two reaches of the lake were known as High Water and Low Water. The building of the dam raised the water level by 29 metres (95 feet) and created a reservoir six kilometres (four miles) long and around 600 metres (almost half a mile) wide.

Prior to the valley being flooded in 1935, all the farms and dwellings of the villages of Mardale Green and Measand were demolished, as well as the centuries-old Dun Bull Inn at Mardale Green. The village church was dismantled and the stone used in constructing the dam; all the bodies in the churchyard were exhumed and re-buried at Shap. Today, when the water in the reservoir is low, the remains of the submerged village of Mardale Green can still be seen as stone walls and the village bridge become visible as the water level drops.

The Manchester Corporation built a new road along the eastern side of the lake to replace the flooded highway lower in the valley, and the Haweswater Hotel was constructed midway down the length of the reservoir as a replacement for the Dun Bull. The road continues to the western end of Haweswater, where a small car park has been built; this is a popular starting point for walkers who want to climb the surrounding fells of Harter Fell, Branstree and High Street.

Taken - 17/11/09
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Haweswater, NE Cumbria
Photographer:
Stephen Dutch