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Scar House village is back on the map

[Monday 12 June 2006]

A NEW map and information board will be unveiled today at Scar House Reservoir to illustrate how a remote dam in the heart of Upper Nidderdale was once the centre of a thriving, 1,000-strong community.

andrew bolt
Andrew Bolt and the Scar House village map

One of Yorkshire Water's most beautiful reservoirs, Scar House lies in the shadow of Great Whernside north-west of Pateley Bridge and is surrounded by wild, rugged hills which attract more than 150,000 visitors a year.

The only remains of the village which once overlooked the dam workings almost 100 years ago are the concrete foundations of the buildings.

However, meticulous research by Andrew Bolt - who works for Yorkshire Water service partner Laing O'Rourke and who is also a keen Bradford historian - has led to the production of a map which shows what used to be on the site in the 1920s.

Mr Bolt said: "Being a keen rambler as well as a local historian I realised that there was more to this reservoir than meets the eye. However, I realised that there was a real need for a map as so many people have asked me about the remaining foundations and about what used to stand on the site.

"My main aim was to clearly identify the buildings which included a gymnasium, hospital, canteen, fish-and-chip shop and even a cinema - and believe it or not, the original projection booth still stands today!"

The amazing thing is that even the original canteen still stands - but as Darley's village hall

Andrew Bolt - Historian

With his experience of cartography and funding from Laing O'Rourke, Andrew hopes the map will finally provide an answer as to what the village used to look like.

Scar House Village was built in 1922 so workers could construct the dam wall, which was completed by 1937. After the reservoir was finished, the village was dismantled although the concrete foundations were left behind; it's still also possible to follow the line of the old railway which connected the village with the outside world.

"The amazing thing is that even the original canteen still stands - but as Darley's village hall." added Mr Bolt.

Yorkshire Water's Business Director, Richard Flint said: "Scar House Reservoir is a great place for people to enjoy the wildlife, idyllic scenery and peace and tranquillity of the countryside - but now the reservoir has even more to offer. I am really pleased to have been asked to unveil the map and I am sure it will be a great point of interest for local visitors."

Your views:

  • We were at Scar House a week ago, and found the information about the village very interesting. Are there any books about the building of the reservoir?

    We enjoyed looking at the pictures, but would love to see more. We didn't see the footprint, but will look for it next time!

    Mary Marlowe

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