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Title: Drawoff Pipe at Green Withens Reservoir - CVH00196

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Drawoff Pipe at Green Withens Reservoir - CVH00196


Pictured during the drought of 1958/59.

Constructed in 1898 as a compensation tunnel for Green Withens Reservoir, one of the former Wakefield Water Board’s biggest holdings with a capacity of over 300 million gallons, the tunnel runs back for 850 feet into the hillside. The other end is at the bottom of the 66 foot high retaining wall of the reservoir itself. The tunnel is sealed by two giant sluice gates each of which take 750 turns of a geared wheel to open or close.

Originally used to allow water to run from the reservoir to feed the mills of the Rishworth Valley, the tunnel was opened at 5 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m. every day. Now it is no longer used and only a trickle of water runs down the massive steps leading to the stone conduit.

When the reservoir was being constructed the tunnel served another purpose – a short cut to the wall that was to hold back millions of gallons.

All the local water boards were amalgamated to become Yorkshire Water in 1973.


Christine Butterworth


PHDA - Cragg Vale History Group


Pennine Horizons Digital Archive




“Drawoff Pipe at Green Withens Reservoir - CVH00196,” Pennine Horizons Digital Archive, accessed September 27, 2020, http://penninehorizons.org/items/show/28844.

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