Watergrove reservoir is a drinking water supply reservoir located above Wardle near Rochdale.
Watergrove reservoir was opened in 1938 to supply the people of Rochdale with drinking water, however this was at the cost of the village of Watergrove and several surrounding hamlets and mills.
As a kid we used to walk up to the reservoir and swim in it, in the warm summers of the 70’s.
The pumping tower at Watergrove used to have a flat roof but the water authority have put a sloped roof on now and put a fence at the end of the walk way to prevent access. I guess to stop kids, like me, from jumping off it in to the reservoir! But it is a bloody eyesore and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the reservoir buildings IMHO.
The steps and the building in the photo are the overflow and the pumping station respectively.
The water authority have also built a new pumping station at the reservoir and have left the old one to fall into a state of disrepair, (it was rumored that it was to be turned into luxury flats) but now its a right mess. Due mainly to neglect and vandalism. It would make a superb visitors centre/museum of Watergrove and/or café.
It’s a stunningly beautiful place to go for a walk if you’re in the Wardle area and there is a great car park just inside the entrance to the Watergrove reservoir boundary.
If your after further information on Watergrove then you could do no better than purchase the following book from George Kelsall Publishing.
Watergrove by Allen Holt – ISBN 0 946571309 – £10.95
A history of the valley and its drowned village
You can buy it on Amazon here
Anyway heres some of my pictures taken in April 2003.