Edgbaston Reservoir

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Edgbaston Reservoir
Edgbaston Reservoir.jpg
The Reservoir in August 2014
Location Ladywood district, Birmingham
Coordinates 52°28′47.13″N 1°56′13.54″W / 52.4797583°N 1.9370944°W / 52.4797583; -1.9370944Coordinates: 52°28′47.13″N 1°56′13.54″W / 52.4797583°N 1.9370944°W / 52.4797583; -1.9370944
Type reservoir
Basin countries United Kingdom
Max. length 800 metres (2,600 ft)
Max. width 550 metres (1,800 ft)
Surface area 58 acres (230,000 m2)
Average depth 5.90 metres (19.4 ft)
Max. depth 40 feet (12 m)
Water volume 1,463,800 cubic metres (322,000,000 imp gal)
Shore length1 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi)
Settlements

Birmingham

West Midlands
Edgbaston Reservoir
Edgbaston Reservoir shown within the West Midlands (grid reference SP043868)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Edgbaston Reservoir, originally known as Rotton Park Reservoir and referred to in some early maps as Rock Pool Reservoir,[1] is a canal feeder reservoir in the Ladywood district of Birmingham, England. It is situated close to Birmingham City Centre and is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.[2]

History[edit]

The gatehouse at the entrance to the reservoir
Boat house and Birmingham Level sluice gear on the dam

Originally a small pool named Roach Pool[3] in Rotton Park it was extensively enlarged by Thomas Telford between 1824-1829 to supply water to the Birmingham and Wolverhampton Levels of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) canal system via Icknield Port Loop. It was excavated to a depth of 40 feet (12 m) and covers an area of 58 acres (230,000 m2), holding 300,000,000 imperial gallons (1,400,000 m3) of water, and was the largest expanse of water in Birmingham at the time. It is supplied by small streams and a feeder from Titford Reservoir (Titford Pools) in Oldbury. It was formed by damming a small stream. The dam is a 330 metre long earth embankment with a height of 10 metres near the centre.[4]

The reservoir and gatehouse were designed by Thomas Telford and the latter is a listed building in corporate BCN octagonal style. In 1873, it was crossed by Charles Blondin, on a tightrope. His feat is marked by a 1992 statue on the nearby Ladywood Middleway ring road.[5]

Ecology[edit]

The reservoir is surrounded by woodland and grassland. The total area of the site is 70 acres (280,000 m2). It supports a variety of birds, in addition to newts and bats.[2]

Leisure[edit]

Sculpture of Charles Blondin

In addition to supplying water to the canals, the reservoir is used for leisure activities including angling, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking and rowing.

Edgbaston Reservoir is home to two rowing clubs, Birmingham Rowing Club and the University of Birmingham Boat Club. Both are housed within the same boathouse. The site has also been chosen to house a new Birmingham Schools rowing initiative, with the two aforementioned clubs assisting in the running of the scheme. Birmingham Canoe Club also share the space during the summer months (June - September), paddling on the reservoir.[6]

The Midland Sailing Club is also based at Edgbaston Reservoir,[7] and often race sailing boats around a marked course. Windsurfers also use the reservoir. Further to this, TS Vernon Sea Cadets use the reservoir as a base.[8]

The Reservoir is home to Edgbaston Watersports who provide water and land activities for school, college & youth groups from their base on the Icknield Port Road side of the reservoir.

The Reservoir perimeter provides a pleasant route for joggers, with a gravel and tarmac path throughout its 1.75 mile (2.8 km) circumference.[2] There are also work-out stations at various points providing frames for exercises such as pull-ups and step-ups.

The fishing season runs from 16 June to 14 March each year. Licenses are available from Birmingham City Council Rangers and start at £1.90 per day.[2]

Man standing on the frozen Reservoir in January 2010

Weather[edit]

The reservoir usually has a gentle breeze across it due to the lack of large buildings or objects surrounding it, which makes it ideal for sailing.

During winter there can be strong, icy, northerly winds blowing over the city which can freeze the reservoir over due to its exposed northern side (where the dam is situated). In recent years the reservoir has frozen over in both January 2009 and 2010 to the extent it can be walked upon, although this is strongly discouraged.

In the summer the reservoir is often extremely busy with members of the public coming for picnics and walks around the reservoir's perimeter path.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1831 Map of Birmingham
  2. ^ a b c d Edgbaston Reservoir. Birmingham City Council.
  3. ^ Yates, George (1830). An Historical and Descriptive Sketch of Birmingham. Beilby, Knott, and Beilby. p. 214. 
  4. ^ Tedd, Paul (2000). Dams. Thomas Telford. ISBN 0-7277-2870-9. 
  5. ^ Noszlopy, George Thomas; Beach, Jeremy (1998). Public Sculpture of Birmingham: Including Sutton Coldfield. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-692-5. 
  6. ^ Birmingham Canoe Club
  7. ^ Midlands Sailing Club
  8. ^ "Birmingham Vernon". The Sea Cadets. 

External links[edit]