Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Blackstone Edge Reservoir
Blackstone Edge Reservoir is on the border of Yorkshire and Lancashire, high on the moors overlooking Rochdale and Littleborough in the South Pennines Heritage Area. I don't find it at all 'beautiful', but it's typical of these bleak uplands and certainly atmospheric in a shivery kind of way. This area has many small reservoirs, mostly built in Victorian times, but I have been unable to find out whether they are still used for our water supply. If so, it's looking good for a year or two as they are all brim full!
This area also has lots of old quarries, a legacy from the building boom of the Industrial Revolution. The bountiful supply of soft water running off the moors, wool from the sheep that graze the uplands and a significant pre-existing handloom weaving industry meant that, when industrial technology developed, hundreds of textile mills sprang up in the region, together with the towns that housed and serviced the growing population. The South Pennine moorland feels very remote and wild but in fact it's not far at all from the many industrial towns and major cities - Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford - that developed from the 19th century onwards. The M62 motorway, Britain's highest motorway, bisects the area on its east-west route between Hull and Manchester.