PICTURES: Low water levels at Derwent Reservoir reveal lost village

Derwent Reservoir (Picture: Jennifer Rowlett)
Derwent Reservoir (Picture: Jennifer Rowlett)
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Structures of a lost village hidden beneath the Derwent Reservoir are making an appearance thanks to the recent warm weather.

Water levels at Derwent Reservoir have dropped recently because of the recent dry spell, revealing structures of a town built in the early 20th century.

Jennifer Rowlett shared a picture of the reservoir, in which you can see the remnants of the Ouzelden Bridge, once used by residents of the Birchinlee Village.

She said: "I think the picture is lovely. It shows old structures and there is also an old bridge now appearing too."

Nearby are the famous lost villages of Ashopton and Derwent, which were drowned under reservoirs, however the village under the Derwent Reservoir tells a different story.

The village of Birchinlee housed a community over 100 years ago, and the foundations of some of its buildings can still be traced among the plantations on the Derwent Reservoir's western edge.

It was only around for 14 years after its fate was sealed by the completion of the Derwent and Howden Reservoirs

The village was purpose-built in 1902 by the Derwent Valley Water Board to house navvies whilst they constructed the Dams and their families, and known to many as Tin Town because of it's distinctive corrugated iron and wooden buildings.

When the work was finished, the houses were sold off and the families were moved on.

Birchinlee had its own shops, school, church, recreation hall and fire and police stations.

Companies like Derwent Valley Water also recognised that decent facilities with a settled workforce meant higher productivity.

Life was tough for workers and for women alike, as most took in lodgers.

They would have served the first breakfasts at 5am and supper was at 10.30pm. During their leisure time, residents enjoyed dances, whist drives, singing groups, flower shows, visits by concert parties and hand-cranked cinema shows.

Village football teams won cups in the Sheffield Amateur League and workers also played cricket and billiards.

The Ouzelden Bridge, which was once the first and most northerly bridge across the River Derwent, is now a reminder of the lost village of Birchinlee, set to disappear again once the water levels rise.

Various pictures were shared via the Pictures of Sheffield and Derbyshire Facebook page.