timeline item
Here is the information we have
on the item you selected
This entry was funded by
More like this
sign up for our newsletter
© 2018 Engineering Timelines
engineering timelines
explore ... how   explore ... why   explore ... where   explore ... who  
home  •  NEWS  •  search  •  FAQs  •  references  •  about  •  sponsors + links
Abbeystead Dam
River Wyre, southwest of Abbeystead, Lancashire
Abbeystead Dam
associated engineer
James M. Mansergh
date  1878 - 1881
era  Victorian  |  category  Dam/Reservoir  |  reference  SD556538
ICE reference number  HEW 548
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
Abbeystead Dam's rustic stone facing hides a heart of concrete. Indeed it was one of the first stone-faced concrete dams in the country and probably the highest of its type when it was built.
The 13.7m high dam was built across the River Wyre by the Lancaster Corporation to create a reserve reservoir (Abbeystead Reservoir) as a backup for people needing to extract water further upstream. It was constructed immediately downstream of a smaller dam dating from 1853 (height raised in 1865) that was considered unstable at the time.
The elegant curved dam held back an impressive 841 million litres of water, the original capacity of the reservoir. Nowadays, the dam is completely silted up and acts as a weir, with water continuously spilling over it, down to a curved overflow weir and a waterfall.
The dam was designed by James Mansergh, a native of Lancaster, who subsequently engineered Birmingham's Elan Valley Reservoirs.
Contractor: J.E. Hannah
Pesearch: PHEW / PD
"Lancaster Waterworks Extension" by J.M. Mansergh
Minutes of the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1881-82
reference sources   CEH North

Abbeystead Dam