Kentmere Reservoir

Type; Reservoir
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Location; Kent valley
Accessibility; Access Land
Grid Ref; NY 445 080
Elevation; 297 m (974 feet)
Size; 740m x 380m (½ x ¼ miles approx)
Area; 19.5 hectares (48.2 acres)
Depth; unknown
Meaning of name;
Alternative name(s);


Kentmere Reservoir was originally built to store water for the mills in the Kent valley. It was built in 1848 when the mill owners on the banks of the River Kent needed a regular and regulated supply of water to power their machinery. The largest of the supporters were the James Cropper paper mill at Burneside, Benjamin Turton’s wood mill at Staveley, Wakefield’s gunpowder works at Sedgwick and Gawith Hoggarth’s snuff mill at Helsington. The 200 yard dam was completed in 1851. Over the years, the other mills passed their ownership on and the James Cropper paper mill is now the sole owner.

The reservoir, although artificial, is not displeasing to the eye and is surrounded by the high ridges of Kentmere Pike, Yoke and Mardale Ill Bell, all of which offer good vantage points for seeing it. Alternatively, footpaths lead up either side of the valley from Kentmere and Hallow Bank to just below the dam. One then continues up to the Nan Bield Pass, giving access to Harter Fell, Mardale Ill Bell and the High Street ridge.

The photos below were taken from Nan Bield Pass, unfortunately we arrived a bit too late and the sun was too far round for anything decent.