Black Sike Reservoir, Austonley

This page is a bare-bones entry for a specific location marked on an old map. More detailed information may eventually be added...


  • also known as: Blackside and Black Syke
  • location: Austonley
  • status: still exists
  • category: reservoir

Following heavy rain, the reservoir's embankment failed on 21 September 1821:[1]

Holmfirth, near Huddersfield, being situated at the junction of the Holm and Ribbleden rivulets, in a deep valley under those stupendous mountains termed the English appenines, is liable to frequent inundations. On September 21st, after a continuance of heavy rain, the great reservoir above Black-Sike mill burst its embankment, and rolled down the valley a prodigious volume of water, which forced down the buildings in its course, leaving the inhabitants and the workmen in the mill adjoining, and at Burn Lee dyehouse below, only just time to hurry to the heights, and escape its destructive fury. The flood commenced at seven o’clock in the evening, and the water had subsided at ten, but the inhabitants did not dare to retire to rest. The next day presented a truly affecting scene of desolation; mud, stones, timber, broken furniture, work tools, and prostrate trees were spread over the fields for a considerable extent, and the herbage, fences, and buildings in many places were destroyed. Happily no lives were lost, although the loss of property was very great.


Notes and References

  1. The Annals and History of Leeds and Other Places in the County York (1860) compiled by John Mayhall, pages 291-292.