Yateholme Reservoir

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


  • location: Holme
  • status: still exists
  • category: reservoir

Yateholme Reservoir is the highest of a series of four reservoirs above Holmbridge that were constructed by Batley Corporation Waterworks between the 1872 and 1932 — the others being Brownhill, Riding Wood and Ramsden.

The streams that flow into the reservoir include Great Twizle Clough and Little Twizle Clough. The reservoir's spillway flows into Netherley Clough and its valve shaft empties into Great Bent Dike (which is a downstream tributary of Netherley Clough).

Together with Riding Wood Reservoir, Yateholme was constructed in the 1870s following the submission of the Batley Corporation Water Bill to Parliament in 1871 which initially proposed to build five reservoirs: Yatehole, Riding Wood, Ramsden, Holme, and Batley.[1] The Holme scheme was later abounded in favour of constructing the larger Brownhill Reservoir.

The Huddersfield Examiner reported that construction workers had already begun to arrive in the area by December 1871.[2] In early February 1872, Civil Engineer J. F. Bateman reported to Batley Corporation that he had "never visited a work which, so early in its execution, gave me equal satisfaction" and that "the puddle trench at the Yateholme reservoir had been opened throughout its entire length".[3]

In June 1872, "a breach of the peace [...] by the navvies who are engaged in constructing the reservoirs" led to Batley magistrates appointing Police Constable Mark Duckworth (No. 252) to be relocated as a special constable to the area.[4] A few days later, the local press reported that George Rowe — known as "Young Nobby" — had died of injuries sustained in an accident on 24 May. Rowe had been in charge of waggons removing "tip" from the construction site when "he failed and fell, the wheels of the waggons passing over his right leg". He was taken to Huddersfield Infirmary where his leg was amputated but "the case was hopeless from the start".[5]

Another accident was reported in August 1872 when quarryman labourer William Sykes of Ackworth near Pontefract became trapped under a "fall of earth" which resulted in a broken leg.[6]

In August 1873, engineer J. F. Bateman reported that the current expenditure was £839 higher than anticipated, mostly due to it being "found necessary to sink the puddle trench [to a greater depth], both at Yateholme reservoir and at Riding Wood, for the purpose of securing a good watertight foundation."[7]

In June 1874, reservoir labourers John Brown, Henry Lee and John Shaw were found guilty of causing damage to the Commercial Inn at Holmbridge. At the same court session, labourer William Jackson was fined for "being drunk and riotous in the Town Gate, Holmfirth".[8]

By August 1875, the reservoir had been filled to around 35,250,000 gallons. A report to Batley Corporation stated that the current cost of construction was £82,597 2s. 5d., being £900 13s. 10d. in excess of the estimated cost.[9]

On 30 September 1875, Alderman Marriott of Batley Corporation officially "turned on" the water supply at Staincliffe, to the southwest of Batley, which was supplied from Yateholme Reservoir some 16 miles away. The water pressure of the supply was measured at "160 feet, or about 80lbs. per square inch" and it was fed into the town's existing water mains. The Dewsbury Reporter noted that the supply had actually commenced the day before, but the ceremony was held over to the following day due to it being the Mayor's Banquet. At a ceremony in the centre of Batley, the Mayor turned on a valve and two vertical pipes erected in the Market Place began spraying out water "to a considerable height". The newspaper also reported that "a medal is to be struck in honour of the event, on one side will be a portrait of Alderman Harrison, the chairman of the Waterworks Committee [...] and on the other side there is to be a portrait of the present Mayor" and that "each child in the borough is to be presented with a medal".[10]

By May 1876, the "concrete culvert from Yateholme to Ramsden Rocks" was reported to be nearing competition and the Riding Wood Reservoir had been filled to "within about five feet from the overflow". It was also reported that "the finishing touches are being given to the Yateholme Reservoir, and little remains to be done but to level the top of the embankment".[11]


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Notes and References

  1. "The Water Bill of the Batley Corporation" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (06/Feb/1871).
  2. "Yateholm Reservoir and the Navvies" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (11/Dec/1871).
  3. "Batley Town Council" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (08/Mar/1872).
  4. "The Construction of the Yateholme Reservoir and the Navvies" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (05/Jun/1872).
  5. "Death at the Infirmary" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Jun/1872).
  6. "Accident at the Yateholme Reservoir" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (29/Aug/1872).
  7. "Batley" in Dewsbury Reporter (16/Aug/1873).
  8. "Holmfirth Petty Sessions" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (18/Jul/1874).
  9. "Meeting of the Batley Town Council" in Batley Reporter and Guardian (07/Aug/1875).
  10. "Opening of the Batley Waterworks" in Dewsbury Reporter (02/Oct/1875).
  11. "Among the Navvies: A Visit to the Batley Waterworks" in Dewsbury Reporter (20/May/1876). This article is noteworthy for containing a detailed description of the area around the reservoirs.