This is the mighty ‘Ladybower Reservoir’ about 30 mins west of city of Sheffield in England.

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The people in the colour photo puts some perspective on size. The dam’s design is unusual in having two totally enclosed bellmouth overflows (locally named the “plugholes”) at the side of the wall. These are stone and of 80 feet (24 m) diameter with outlets of 15 feet (4.6 m) diameter. Each discharges via its own valve house at the base of the dam.

When I arrived I was a little underwhelmed to be honest at ground level. But I knew there was much more on offer from higher ground so went off the beaten track a bit. The blue sky and light direction really brought out magnificent colours and the height offered the real view to behold.

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The bell mouths are often completely out of the water and are only rarely submerged, often after heavy rainfall or flooding. The building of the reservoir resulted in the ‘drowning’ of the villages of Ashopton and Derwent (including Derwent Woodlands church and Derwent Hall). The clock tower of the church had been left standing and the upper part of it was visible above the water level until 1947, when it was seen as a hazard and demolished with explosives on 15 December.

Ladybowler Plughole

Pretty impressive engineering if you ask me. A real nice part of England actually, and not a bad thing to look up if you are ever in the area.

Off back to Ireland now…

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