Longdendale Chain

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The Londendale reservoirs relative to Glossop and Hadfield
At the Rhodeswood reservoir dam, we see the outflow canal from the Torside Reservoir dam, alongside the Rhodeswood Reservoir. The Torside dam can be seen in the distance. To the right is Shining Clough Moss and Bleaklow. To the left Bareholm Moss and Black Hill

The Longdendale Chain is a sequence of six reservoirs on the River Etherow in the Longdendale Valley, in northern Derbyshire. They were constructed between 1848 and 1884 to a design by John Frederick Bateman to supply the growing population of Manchester and Salford with fresh water.[1]

The top three reservoirs (Woodhead, Torside and Rhodeswood) and Arnfield are for drinking water, and the lower reservoirs (Valehouse and Bottoms) are used as compensation reservoirs to maintain the downstream flow of the river. There was originally a seventh – Hollingworth Reservoir – which was abandoned in 1990, and has become part of the Swallows Wood nature reserve.[2][3]

Water flowed by gravity through the Mottram Tunnel to the Godley covered reservoir where it drops to the service reservoirs at Denton, Audenshaw, Gorton and Prestwich.[3]


The reservoirs are listed from upstream to downstream i.e. from east to west:

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "A Tribute to John Frederick La Trobe Bateman 1810–1889". Tameside MBC web pages. Tameside Council. 12 September 2007. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2008. 
  2. ^ "Longendale in the Peak National Park". PDNP Education Website. Peak District National Park Authority. 2000. Archived from the original on 2006-01-04. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  3. ^ a b Quayle, Tom (2006). Manchester's water: the reservoirs in the hills. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3198-6.  p. 120.


Quayle, Tom (2006). Manchester's water: the reservoirs in the hills. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-3198-6. 

Mansergh, James (1878). The Thirlmere water scheme of the Manchester Corporation : with a few remarks on the Longdendale Works, and water-supply generally. London: Spon.  - popularising lecture, with copious plans & elevations (of Longendale chain as well as Thirlmere scheme)

Coordinates: 53°29′34″N 1°51′51″W / 53.4927°N 1.8642°W / 53.4927; -1.8642