Snailsden Reservoir is situated approximately 3 miles south of Holmfirth and is within the border of South Yorkshire.
The application to Parliament to construct the reservoir was placed in 1875 by the Dewsbury and Heckmondwike Waterworks, along with applications for Harden Reservoir, Upper Windleden Reservoir, Whitley Reservoir, and Dewsbury Gate Reservoir:
A reservoir (hereinafter called the "Snailsden Reservoir"), on the stream known as Harden Dike or Harden Clough, the embankment of which will be placed across the said Dike or Clough, at a point 1044 yards or thereabouts, measured in a straight line in a north-westerly direction from the centre of the bridge known as Snailsden Bridge or Magnum Bridge, carrying the road from Snailsden to Magnum Bonum, over the said Dike or Clough, which Snailsden Reservoir will extended in a westerly direction from the last-mentioned embankment to a point on the said Dike or Clough, there known as Reaps Dike, 565 yards or thereabouts, measured in a straight line form the point at which the said embankment will cross the said Dike or Clough. The intended Snailsden Reservoir will be situate in the townships of Austonley and Holme, in the parish of Almondbury.
The application was granted under the Dewsbury and Heckmondwike Waterworks Act of 1876, however work did not commence on construction until the mid-1890s. Permissions was also given for the construction of an access road, passing close to Cook's Study.
In December 1896, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported that Henry Fotherby, who was constructing the new Harden and Snailsden reservoirs, had celebrated his golden wedding anniversary.
The construction of the reservoir was overseen by Henry Dearden, Dewsbury's borough engineer and surveyor.
In 1915 the reported capacity of the reservoir was 43,210,503 gallons.
On 11 August 1921, Harry Sandford drowned himself in the reservoir, after his 74-year-old father William collapsed from a suspected heart attack.
The body of 38-year-old Jonathan Pardon of Fartown was recovered from the reservoir by police divers in 2014.