Haweswater Dam





 Work on the dam began in the summer of 1929, pictured above shows how far work had progressed before halting when funds ran out because of the great depression, for four years the scheme stood idle, leaving the locals to live on as they had always done, the years soon past and now with enough funds in the coffers, work began again in 1935 until its completion in 1940, the first water started to flow via the 90 miles of pipeline towards Manchester in 1941, the pipeline starts its journey at the take of tower, goes through and under the mountain, emerging tother side, in the picturesque valley of Longsleddale, and travels almost in a straight line the whole distance, only breaking the surface where it crosses a river or a deep gorge.

 In the top left side of the photo above you can see two overhead cable gantries, the locals nicknamed these the Blondins, after the world record attempt at crossing Niagara Falls, by the tight rope walker Blondins.


 The hoppers which were suspended from the cables held around 15 hundred weight of concrete, which were manoeuvred into place from a control tower (Below).




 The dam was the first ever hollow buttress type construction to be made in England, inside are 24 huge arches which support the entire weight of the structure, and on the outside are 44 buttresses to hold back the water.



This picture was taken on 9th May 1934 during the halt in works, from the west side of the valley and behind the dam footing, which has a gap or gateway open for the locals to come and go about their daily work, notice there are very few navies around, just a skeleton crew to keep the machinery oiled.


 The Dam Measurements are as follows:


 Length = 1,550 feet, Height = 120 feet, Width at base = 112 feet, Original old lake surface area = 346 acres, New reservoir surface area = 974 acres, Original old lake length = 2-1/2 miles long, New reservoir length = 4 miles, Height of new reservoir above sea level when full = 790 feet, Reservoir capacity = 18,662 Million gallons.

 An estimated capacity of around 75 Million gallon a day are used to supply Manchester, with an extra 25 Million gallons go to supply the Eden vallies River Lowther.




 Picture below shows the huge ditch in which part of the dam sits, in the drawing above the same ditch can be seen on the bottom the left where it says (Grout Holes), the whole dam sits upon a solid base of bedrock called Endesite, this rock type was found spanning the whole valley at varying depths of 16 to 35 feet, unless this solid base was found the dam would not have been erected at this place, An estimated 140,000 cubic yards of concrete, requiring 190,000 tons of stone and 30,000 tons of cement were used during the dam's construction.




 Above is the engine called Hugh Holme with its drivers.



 Above is the dam shortly after it was made by the Knuttall company, in the mid 50's two extra pipelines were dug, one from the Swindale and Naddle side of the valley and another from Heltondale, My next door neighbour worked on both projects, he is now in his seventies, the reservoir is also supplied with water from Ullswater, the huge pumping station there can supply 100 million litres a day, costing the country about the same electricity bill daily as supplies a small town, 

 Together with Wet Sleddale dam, this is often used to top up the reservoir when levels drop below half full, the average annual rainfall of the Mardale basin and surrounding areas is approximately 76 inches, giving a yield of around 65 million gallons per day at best, in 1976 around 10 million gallons a day were being taken out, with only a million gallons being fed into the reservoir, from the many small stream and beck's, which gushed during the winter months, and then were a mere trickle.



 The picture above was taken in the early sixties, showing a steady flow of water coming over the spillway and the small bridge that crosses the beck at the foot of the dam.