As traffic increased on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal more water was needed to maintain levels. Winterburn reservoir was one of several built in the Victorian era for this purpose. It is unusual and outstanding because of the grand architectural treatment it was given. The work was undertaken by Henry Rofe and Edward Filliter, Civil Engineers of Leeds around 1885 to 1893. They built a rock-faced, coursed stone wave wall running east to west about 175 metres long with an average height of 1.3 metres. It has ashlar (finely dressed stone) copings rising to a point. The wall incorporates a built out valve tower with two cast iron valve capstans and a low level valve outlet tower with a decorative circular portal. At the east end a twin-arched decorative stone bridge crosses the spillway which includes a grand curving water-ladder. To the south linked by low stone walling are a stone control weir and a gauging house on a plinth. The gauging house is a square rock-faced building with a pyramidal slate stone roof, a single chimney stack and rectangular windows.
Winterburn reservoir – aerial photo MYD36013 © YDNPA, 2023 (YDP180/04)
Winterburn reservoir MYD36013 © YDNPA, 2023 (WRS10)
Location Head north from Winterburn village for 1 mile on public footpath (Private Road). Footpath skirts along west side of reservoir. Can also be reached on bridleway called Moor Lane north from Hetton (2 miles)
Public Transport Details Nearest town/village: Hetton. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.
Accessibility Can only be reached on foot 1 mile down a private road.