Baildon Reservoirs

From BaildonWiki

There have been several reservoirs in Baildon

Baildon Bank, West Lane Reservoir

Location on Google maps here.

Longitude and latitude 53.847807,-1.782205

he area is now (2011) a residential development built by David Wilson Homes.

Circular and not used.

Confirmation is needed that the site was known nationally as a site where there were once ancient cup-and-ring stones and was home to a Bronze Age burial mound and that some of the discovered stones were also on display at Cliffe Castle museum, in Keighley,

The land was in the Bradford UDP as suitable for development. In 2003 it is noted that Bradford's rUDP, intended for adoption in 2004, recommends development of the land is delayed for 8 years. Residents formed the Baildon Bank Reservoir Group, later the West Lane Action Group, to fight plans to develop the site. In 1998 more than 420 letters were sent to Yorkshire Water valling on the company to honour a pledge to consult residents before developing the site for housing.

Cala Homes (Yorkshire) Ltd and Keyland Developments submitted an outline planning application which was refused in Sept 2001 they appealed and the appeal was rejected in May 2002 however a public inquiry into the appeal was to re-open at St John's Church Hall, Baildon, at 10am on Monday, April 29 2002.

25 Sept 2003 outline planning permission granted by Shipley planning office for development of the site for housing. The permission was granted in-spite of objections from MP Chris Leslie, Councillors and residents.

Planning application 07/01356/FUL - as part of the planning consent given for the full application a Section 106 agreement finalised in October 2007 stated that several things would be funded by the developer, David Wilson Homes:

  1. Bus stop £8000
  2. Playing pitch £40000
  3. Recreational Sum £50000
  4. Education Sum based on the number of houses
  5. + affordable houses

Baildon Moor


Location on Google maps here.

Longitude and lattitude 53.859652,-1.775451

Baildon Local Board references to reservoirs in the minutes

7 Oct 1873 - It was proposed and seconded by Mr Jagger and Mr Holmes that a second reservoir be constructed. This was to be 90 yards by 100 yards.

21 Oct 1873 - Messrs. Beech and Ellis were to be appointed consulting engineers for the construction of the second reservoir.

5 May 1874 - The tender of £4004-3-3 by Thomas Morrell & Co. for the building of the second reservoir was accepted.

16 June 1874 - It was agreed that the old reservoir be enlarged enabling a further 600,000 gallons to be stored.

7 Nov 1874 - It was decided that the old reservoir should be built up to the height of the new one.

7 Nov 1882 - It was agreed that the plans and requisite deeds be drawn up for two reservoirs for which, at present, the Board possess no grant from the Lord of the Manor.

13 Nov 1889 - The Board approved a scheme for a new reservoir at Birch Close allotment with a capacity of 30,000,000 gallons of water.

1 July 1890 - Two members of the Board reported that they had caught Joseph Halliday (Dennis) stealing water from the Board's reservoir. Agreed that he be written to and warned of the serious consequences if the offence be repeated. Dennis lived at Acre Cottage adjacent to the reservoir and sold water from Acre Well in a cart to villagers who had no mains services or access to any wells.

17 March 1891 - The Board agreed to arrange a loan of £1169 (for the construction of the Weecher Reservoir) from the Friends Provident Institute. A further loan of £6500 was also to be arranged.

12 May 1891 - The Seal of the Board was affixed to the conveyance of land for the new reservoir and easement over land at Birch Close (Messrs Taylor & Holmes).

22 July 1891 - The contract for building the Weecher Reservoir was let to J & T Young of Armley.

7 July 1891 - Seal of the Board affixed to conveyance of Land from Mr Ferrand to the Board in connection with Weecher Reservoir.

22 May 1894 - An offer to Mr Holden was made giving him the right to fish in the new reservoir for a fee of £15 per annum.

17 July 1894 - Mr James Bray appointed to supervise clay puddle at Weecher. Salary 35s/- per week.

Re. 7 Nov 1882, did Baildon Local Board ever get a grant from the Lord of the Manor for the additional reservoirs? If not they were built without permission and any subsequent ownership would be questionable.



The tanks were built separately over 15 years, the lower one being the first to be built.

These were fed by springs from Bradup on the edge of Ilkley moor, by the two radio masts, picking up a spring at Birch Close then onto Baildon moor collecting water from Spink Well, Near Drift and Far Drift and lastly Acre Well near Bingley road.

Water also came from a spring between the top reservoir wall and the 17th tee. Contributors here have never managed to find this source but it still runs, feeding the bottom two reservoirs. All this water runs through a 9inch pipe which is still (2011) active and in good condition.

At a later date Weecher Reservoir was built and this supplied the top reservoir. This supply was closed down in 1989.

As of 2010 little or no maintenance has been done since 1960s, the last big job was when the top reservoir leaked into the road. Rombalds water put in a pipe all the way down the roadside of the top tank. This water is then fed into a drain on the bottom corner which goes under the road round the 2nd green and finishes in [[Spring woods.

As of 2011 this wall is in a bad state of repair with many loose stones in it and is in need of pointing. This reservoir leaks so quickly in a dry spell it drops 10 feet in a few weeks.

The wall on the other side of this tank has leaking and blocked pipes on its banks and in winter the water bursts out and runs over the bank and out under the wall.

The stone work inside has been badly damaged by vandals and will be expensive to repair.

A survey in 1993 by Babcock Engineers recommended the removal of the trees.

The greenkeeper's sheds were in the corner of the reservoirs and were often broken into, so when the Filter House became empty the Baildon Golf Club offered to buy it but the deal included the reservoirs.

Since 1999 the Golf Club has spent £8,000 in repairs and when the wall fell down behind the 1st green it became impossible for the Golf Club to afford any more repair work.

In a chance conversation Mr Malcolm Leyland had with Mr Arthur Edwick about how hard the Golf Club was finding it to keep up with the expense of the reservoirs, Mr Edwick offered to buy them.

Since being built in 1850 the reservoirs have been owned by Baildon Board of Guardians, Baildon U.D.C., Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Rombalds Water Board, Baildon Golf Club and now (2011) Mr Edwick,

Before the reservoirs were built the beck only flowed in winter and wet weather because it relied on drainage from the moor. When the reservoirs were built the springs fed them all the time and water continuously flowed from the over-flow in the bottom reservoir down the beck.

The 9 inch pipe crossing the moor has vent chambers every 100 yards, many of these are buried. The author of most of this history (Malcolm Leyland) knows of four.

In 2007 someone dropped some stones down one of these vent chambers and created a blockage which then caused flooding on part of the golf course and the fields below. Yorkshire Water agreed to clear this and admitted responsibility for the pipe and did the repairs.

In 2011 Gary Hudson of Duck and Dive, Shipley created plans for turning the reservoirs into a recreational, educational and rehabilitation area. Arthur Edwick worked with Gary Hudson who was granted access to do some preliminary work on the site. Gary was granted rent free use of the land for this purpose with the situation to be reviewed once the plans were in place. Vegetation and rubbish were cleared from the site and two sections of the divider between the two smaller, lower, reservoirs was removed to allow circular boating. Gary approached Baildon Parish Council for help in preparing a business case

However as work was progressing more questions were being asked about the integrity of the structures.

Parish Council Warden Report Oct 2012

This is a report produced by the then Parish Council Warden, Mark Scimshaw that was made available on the Parish Council website on 30 October 2012.

The bottom two reservoirs have been condemned as in dangerous disrepair following an engineers report commissioned by BMDC drainage dept. They must be repaired or demolished. Repair is not feasible on the grounds that the gradient of the banks would have to be altered, that is the banks would have to be rebuilt with a longer slope meaning that the reservoirs would have to be reduced in size considerably to accommodate the longer slopes of the banks within the walled enclosure, or would have to extend substantially beyond the current enclosure. It is suspected that the clay lining currently in place may have degraded and would need replacing. These two reservoirs will therefore be demolished.

The bottom two reservoirs have been drained to a safe level but it remains sufficient to support the fish population - the fish will be rescued before demolition.

It has been discovered through drainage of the bottom two reservoirs that the top reservoir is leaking into them. The top reservoir is currently full and still receiving water from the moor. However, the water is not drainage from the moorland itself - it arrives via ancient pipes from Spink Well and Acre Well on the moor. Mr Edwick, with the approval of BMDC, has hired an excavator to try to locate the valve on this pipe near to the enclosure in order to switch off the flow for a period, to allow the leak in the top reservoir to be investigated. Previous supply lines from Weecher Reservoir and elsewhere have long been sealed off.

A `flood report` is being sought to see if the water from this pipe can be diverted away from the reservoir and fed down outside the enclosure to join Barnsley Beck - this is not an addition to the flow of Barnsley Beck, but only the same flow that would have otherwise reached it by the water going through the reservoirs and out of their overflow.

The bottom two reservoirs, once removed, will be used as car park and `recreation` space. No coaches will be allowed on the site.

There will be no landfill used to level the site.

There will be no access road created across common land, nor will there be any other use of common land. An access point with a wide splayed entrance will be made at the lower end of the enclosing wall where it runs immediately adjacent to the road. In order for there to be a safe line of sight for traffic entering and leaving the site this section of wall, over a substantial length, will be considerably reduced in height.

Various companies have expressed an interest in taking the stone linings of the reservoirs, but given the large size of the stones - they are far bigger than cut building stones - and difficulty in removing them it may be that there is minimal profit to Mr Edwick.

The above matters are all under consideration by the various parties involved and at present there are no firm plans or timescale.

Update Nov 2012

The wall of the reservoir has glass from broken bottles embedded in the concrete along the top. It is assumed that this was done some years ago to stop people climbing over the wall and/or walking along the top of it. The insurance company have instructed Mr Edwick to remove the glass for safety reasons.

Engineers Report

In November 2012 an investigation revealed that the wall had collapsed due to leaks from the lower reservoir. To stop these leaks it would be necessary to either extend the sides of the reservoir out onto the moors or inwards into the water holding areas of the reservoir. Extending out onto the moors cannot be done and extending inwards would make the reservoir unusable. It is therefore likely that the reservoirs will be kept empty until other options have been investigated.


The Parish Council Warden's report contains some details of one of the options.

There is a planning application 16/04799/FUL Acre Reservoir that can be viewed on Bradford Council's website.

Weecher Reservoir

An entry in the minutes of the Baildon Board mentions Weecher Reervoir.

Reservoir Capacities

An article in the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer dated Friday 18 February 1910 of the Baildon District Council meeting held on the Tuesday mentions that during the Waterworks Committee meeting of Feb 7th Feb the Manager reported the capacities of the Baildon Reservoirs.

Weecher Reservoir: February, 1910, 30,883,000 gallons; February, 1909, 33,195,000 gallons; January, 1910. 30,883,000 gallons.

Baildon Moor Reservoir. No. 1: 1,182,000: 1,100,000; 1,318,000.

Baildon Moor Reservoir. No. 2: 3,242,000; 3,242,000; 3,243,000.

Baildon Moor Reservoir. No. 3; 4,628,000; 4,274,000; 4,800,000.

Totals; February, 39,935,000 gallons; February, 1909, 41,811,000 gallons: January, 1910. 40,243,000 gallons.

The water in stock, he stated, was equal to 145 days' supply.