Scar House Reservoir

Scar House Reservoir

Scar House Reservoir is, together with Angram Reservoir, one of two large reservoirs situated in the upper reaches of Nidderdale.

Both Angram Reservoir and Scar House Reservoir were constructed by Bradford Corporation to supply water to Bradford. Angram was the first to be completed, in 1918, with the much large Scar House Reservoir not finished until 1936. Water is delivered to Bradford from the two reservoirs by the 32 mile long Nidderdale Aqueduct which is mostly underground and which transmits water by gravity only, a superb feat of engineering.

A commemorative plaque on Scar House Reservoir's dam marking the opening of the reservoir
A commemorative plaque on Scar House Reservoir’s dam marking the opening of the reservoir

The 71m high dam is, with its towers, something of an architectural masterpiece in my opinion. As the saying goes ‘they don’t make’em like that anymore’. Stone for the construction of the dam and the reservoir was quarried from the slopes above the reservoir. Indeed it is definitely worth the effort of walking across the dam and up the track to Carle Fell Quarry for the quite superb view back down over the reservoir to the valley head.

The superb view of Scar House Reservoir from above Carle Fell Quarry
The superb view of Scar House Reservoir from above Carle Fell Quarry

Access to Scar House Reservoir is via the water company road between Lofthouse and Middlesmoor. This terminates at the large parking area above the reservoir. There are a good range of facilities including public toilets, picnic benches and wheelchair access to the reservoir. There are good paths on either side of both reservoirs making a circuit of both a nice easy walk. For a shorter walk the circuit of Scar House Reservoir, which crosses the dam of Angram Reservoir, is equally enjoyable.

Scar House Reservoir from the bridleway descending Woodale Moss. Note the quarry workings where stone was extracted to build the dam
Scar House Reservoir from the bridleway descending Woodale Moss. Note the quarry workings where stone was extracted to build the dam

Although the construction of the two reservoirs forever altered upper Nidderdale there is no doubt at all in my mind that the resulting landscape is one of the finest in the Yorkshire Dales. Whether it be on a sunny day when the waters of both reservoirs turn a deep blue, or on a wild autumn day when there is a bleak beauty to the scene a visit to Angram and Scar House Reservoirs will stay long in the memory.

The awe inspiring sight of water being released down the 71m high dam
The awe inspiring sight of water being released down the 71m high dam

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