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Haweswater Reservoir, Cumbria | by TomScottPhoto
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Haweswater Reservoir, Cumbria

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 Manchester.

 

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, 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.

 

Haweswater is now one of the largest lakes at 4 miles long and 1/2 mile wide, and has a maximum depth of 200 feet . It is the most easterly of the lakes, and has no settlements on its shores. A concrete dam, 1550 feet wide and 120 feet high was built, and this raised the lake level by 95 feet.

 

All the farms and houses of the villages of Mardale and Measand, and the Dun Bull Inn were pulled down. Coffins were removed from the graveyard, and buried elsewhere, and Mardale church was demolished. At times of drought, when the water level is low, many people go back to see what is left of the village of Mardale.

 

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Taken on July 9, 2014