Clayton Le Woods Reservoir in Lancashire

Clayton Le Woods  Victorian Reservoir in Lancashire

Yesterday we had the rare chance to see one of the oldest underground brick vaulted reservoirs in Lancashire. Built in 1884 to provide clean water to Leyland, the reservoir was the main source of water up until the 1940’s when a larger one was built to service the expanding local population.

Interestingly because the water was being drawn from deep underground it contained high levels of minerals which made the water “hard”. The hard water required higher levels of soap and caused a calcium build up within the pipes of steam engines and boilers which became a headache for the local industry.  Local folks initially started collecting the softer rain water for wash day, but soon a new local source of softer was found and water supply was switched over on Sunday night in time for the Monday Wash day.

The reservoir is now due to be demolished later this week for a new housing development by Kingswood Homes, who very kindly are allowing public access with the help of Chorley Historical and Archaeology Society. A booklet has also been produced which includes an extract from the Preston Guardian dated 4th August 1883 which lists the engineers who built it, the designers Mr William Wrenall of Liverpool and the notable guests who inspected the works all those years ago.