Long-lost UK medieval village re-appears after a century submerged in reservoir

A long-lost Yorkshire village has reappeared after this summer’s record heatwave has dried up the reservoir that drowned it.

The tiny settlement, located near the medieval farming community of Lodge, was submerged when Scar House Reservoir in North Yorkshire's Nidd Valley was built in the 1920s.

But this week, as water levels in the reservoir dropped to below 50% capacity, buildings, dry stone walls and gateposts have returned from the past.

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These new images of the abandoned village were taken by local resident Nichola Barningham, who spotted the remains of buildings in the sorely depleted reservoir when she was out walking.

The last time the village of Lodge was visible was during the very dry summer of 1995.

Lodge, which appears on 16th Century maps as Lodge Howses, was home to 1,250 people before the reservoir was created.

Work started on Scar House Reservoir in 1920 and was completed by 1936. At the time Alderman Gadie, Chairman of the Bradford Corporation Waterworks Committee, was harshly criticised for spending the then astronomical sum of £2million on the project.

The dam wall built to create the reservoir contains more than a million tonnes of masonry and stands 180 ft high, Yorkshire Water said.

When the reservoir is full, it holds an estimated 2,200 million gallons of water.

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The presence of the village, normally concealed by all that water, is a reminder that reservoirs can contain hidden hazards and aren’t always suitable for swimmers.

Yorkshire Water has reminded would be wild swimmers that reservoirs aren’t the best place for a dip: “Reservoirs are really dangerous places and have lots of dangers hidden under the surface,” the company states.

'We don't allow anyone to swim in our reservoirs, even if you’re a great swimmer!'

As a result of the hot and dry conditions, a hosepipe ban affecting about five million people across Yorkshire came into force last week.

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Yorkshire Water said the ban was the first it had imposed in 27 years and was necessary due to a “significant decline” in reservoir levels.

The county has recorded below-average rainfall for the fifth month in a row in July, according to the Environment Agency.

Similar bans are in force across the country, with water companies urging Brits to grass on their neighbours if they see them watering their lawns.

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Watering a garden, cleaning a vehicle, washing windows, walls, paths or patios and filling a pond or a paddling pool could land you in hot water, with fines of up to £1000.

A Southern Water spokesperson said: "If you see anyone breaching the restrictions, please let us know via our customer service team.

"A fine of up to £1,000 can be imposed for any breaches. We would like to thank all our customers for supporting these restrictions and for doing your bit to protect your local rivers."


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