Loweswatercam viewers Christine Goode, her husband Jeff and her
brother Dave Whalley, enjoyed their visits to Haweswater during
Not only did they re-visit several times but they also send me
pictures of their walks and the old flooded village that they
I was unable to join them but have tried to convey the story
of their visits and some of the area's history
by adding additional maps, photos and facts that I've gleaned
from W R Mitchell's Book "The Lost Village of Mardale".
The 1897 Map (courtesy of the O.S. Six Inch series)
shows the houses, church and pub that would be lost to the new
My blue dots along the 800m contour outline the
approximate extent of what was to become the new lake.
The late summer drought and the heavy use of water by the Midlands
population had led to the newspapers
featuring pictures of the valley as the old walls of Mardale
began to emerge from their sunken isolation.
Amongst the people who visited to see the sights were Chris,
Jeff and Chris's brother David.
Their pictures form the basis of this web page.
Sunny and dry weather during the summer has led to falling
water levels in the reservoir
as the rainfall failed to keep pace with the water extraction.
One of the ways down to the lake shore is via the old footbridge
over the delightfully named Rowantreethwaite Beck.
Looking across the wider part of the head of the lake.
Beyond is the Riggindale Valley with Rough Crag to the left
and Kidsty Pike to the right.
The old walls of the valley were never demolished and so are
first to appear from underneath the water.
A relatively modern cement trough that would have served the
animals of the old farms of Goosemire or Grove Brae.
The buildings of the old village were deliberately flattened
before the water flooded the area.
It was reportedly the task of the local Home Guard, which give
them wartime practice in handling explosives.
In the ruins were some of the old wooden beams that would have
been included in the structurer of the houses or barns.
A low arch, now only just visible above the mud
was the old Arnold Bridge that crossed the now silted up Rowantreethwaite
Beck, seen in the earlier photo.
A close up of the old arch.
A wider shot showing some of the old walls that lined the old
lane to Goosemire.
An old boat that had been underwater for a while. The
floor of the boat had a good covering of mud.
The green paint was apparently part of an United Utilities
logo, so it post-dates the reservoir by several decades.
On a subsequent visit the mud had been partially cleared and
the boat moved,
but it was presumably too heavy to carry very far and there
were no oars, so would have been impractical for a visitor to
float on the water.
Several photos over time, from higher up by the new 1940's
the only access now as the previous road up the valley was
flooded by the lake.
The water level continued to fall as Chris, Jeff and Dave visited
All that remains of the site of the old church is the pile
of stones to the left of the yellow grass on what is now an
The larger pile of stones nearer to The Rigg was the old Chapel
We're looking down on the site of the old Dun Bull Inn and
Grove Brae Farm.
Across the way are the wooded headland of The Rigg (to the
left) and Wood Howe (to the right).
As the water level fell, the old Church Bridge become exposed
to view to visitors.
When our photographers walked around the opposite of the lake
they could walk past the site of the church and look down on
As the time went on the submerged grass has started to re-grow
and the bridge could now be reached dry-shod.
Christine on the old Church Bridge.
Whilst still on the opposite shore of the lake they went over
to view the old Fieldhead Bridge
close to Bowderthwaite Farm in the Riggindale Valley.
The clapper bridge is still in good condition and continues
to provide a crossing of Riggindale Beck.
As well as the church, all the farms were also demolished as
the small population was gradually cleared from the valley.
Dave returning to the car by crossing the upper
Rowantreethwaite Bridge once more.
The plans for Manchester Corporation to drown
the valley were first proposed in the 1920's.
Work on the scheme was delayed by the 1930's depression
but finally it was completed and the valley flooded by 1941.
A final service at the church in the valley was
attended by the last of the residents, politicians, members of
the Manchester Water Board
and a crowd of visitors, so many that the service
had to be relayed by loudspeaker to the people outside.
Some of the stones from the old church were incorporated
into the Discharge Tower of the new reservoir.