Grimwith Reservoir

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Grimwith Reservoir
Image of a ruined building on the shoreline of a reservoir
A view of Grimwith Reservoir from the ruin on the north shore.
Relief map of North Yorkshire
Relief map of North Yorkshire
Grimwith Reservoir
LocationYorkshire Dales, England
Coordinates54°04′48″N 01°54′41″W / 54.08000°N 1.91139°W / 54.08000; -1.91139Coordinates: 54°04′48″N 01°54′41″W / 54.08000°N 1.91139°W / 54.08000; -1.91139
Primary inflowsBlea Beck, Gate Up Gill, Grimwith Beck
Primary outflowsRiver Dibb
Catchment area25.5 km2 (9.8 sq mi)
Basin countriesUnited Kingdom
Surface area1.47 km2 (0.57 sq mi)
Average depth14.8 m (49 ft)[1]
Water volume21,772,000 m3 (4.789×109 imp gal)
Surface elevation288 m (945 ft)

Grimwith Reservoir is located in the Yorkshire Dales in North Yorkshire, England. It was originally built by the Bradford Corporation as one of eleven reservoirs in the Yorkshire Dales to supply fresh water to Bradford. It is the largest reservoir owned by Yorkshire Water in terms of water storage. It is near the villages of Appletreewick, Burnsall, Hartlington, Hebden, and Skyreholme.


Grimwith (pronounced Grim'ath)[2] is accessed from the B6265 road 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Hebden and 8 miles (13 km) west of Pateley Bridge. With a surface area of 1.47 square kilometres (0.57 sq mi) and holding 21,772,000 cubic metres (4.789×109 imp gal) of water it is Yorkshire Water's largest reservoir.[3]

The original reservoir was completed in 1864 by the Bradford Corporation, the Local Authority for the city of Bradford, covered 102 acres, contained up to 670 million gallons and was approximately 288 metres (945 ft) above sea level in Wharfedale.[3][4] This involved the abandonment of the hamlets of Grimwith and Gate Up, which would be flooded as part of the reservoir. Grimwith was intended to be a compensation reservoir, rather than be used for storage, and of the eleven reservoirs built by the Bradford Corporation, Grimwith was the most distant at 20 miles (32 km) from Bradford town centre (Bradford at that time, was not yet a city).[5] Following an agreement made in 1970 the size of the reservoir was increased by seven times and the water level was raised by 20 metres (66 ft), with work starting in 1976 and being completed in 1983.[6] The reservoir outlet is the site of a renewable energy project that saw the installation of a small turbine that generates 1400 MWh of electricity per annum.[7]

The reservoir is an important area for birds and is home to wildfowl such as Eurasian wigeon, teal, greylag geese and Canada geese.[8] Other birds that can be seen at various times in the area include ringed plover, northern lapwing, common redshank, Eurasian curlew, reed bunting, lesser redpoll, whinchat and sedge warbler.[9]

The reservoir is a popular destination for leisure activities such as sailing, walking and visitors to Stump Cross Caverns.[3][8] A 4.5-mile (7.2 km) wheelchair-accessible footpath / track circumnavigates the reservoir.[10][11] The Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club have their facilities on the south side of the reservoir,[12] and regularly hold meets and sailing championships. In 2019, the club announced that it had been awarded Recognised Training Centre status by the Royal Yachting Association.[13]

At the eastern end of the reservoir is a grade II listed barn. The Cruck Barn used to be further west, but was reconstructed on its present site above the waterline to preserve it. This type of barn is rare for the Yorkshire Dales. Its origins were in the 16th century and was rebuilt in 1982 when the reservoir was extended.[14][15]



  1. ^ "Grimwith Reservoir". Catchment Data Explorer. Environment Agency. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  2. ^ Smith, Jonathan (16 June 2018). "COUNTRY WALK: A circuit of Grimwith Reservoir". York Press. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Grimwith reservoir". Yorkshire Water. Archived from the original on 14 May 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  4. ^ The Surveyor and Municipal and County Engineer. 1922. p. 45. Retrieved 29 April 2019. Grimwith reservoir was completed in 1864, and Chelker reservoir in 1866. ' The construction of the Horton Bank and Brayshaw service reservoirs and the Leeming and Leeshaw (compensation) reservoirs were authorised by the Act of 1868, ...
  5. ^ Dennison, Ed (January 2011). "Grimwith House, Grimwith Reservoir, Appletreewick, North Yorkshire; Architectural Assessment" (PDF). p. 5. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Craven Through The Years". Telegraph and Argus. 15 August 2008. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Renewable energy". Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Grimwith Reservoir". Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
  9. ^ Smith, Jonathan (20 July 2018). "Peaceful circuit of reservoir". Darlington & Stockton Times (29–2018). p. 61. ISSN 2516-5348.
  10. ^ "Walk 1573 – Grimwith Reservoir". Walking Britain. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  11. ^ Smith, Bob. "Dales 'missing link' improved to help disabled visitors at Grimwith Reservoir". Grough. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  12. ^ Tate, Lesley (14 April 2016). "An easy walk round Grimwith Reservoir – and watch out for the spaceship". Craven Herald. Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  13. ^ Chapman, Hannah, ed. (27 December 2019). "Club shortlisted for award". Darlington & Stockton Times (52–2019). p. 64. ISSN 2516-5348.
  14. ^ "Out of Oblivion: A landscape through time". Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Grimwith High Laithe (Grade II) (1131787)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 January 2018.

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