“Come see the ruins but stick to the shore” – warning as exposed ruins of Ladybower reservoir’s lost villages entice sightseers into danger

Part of Derwent Hall has been exposed by the low water levels (Picture: Severn Trent water)
Part of Derwent Hall has been exposed by the low water levels (Picture: Severn Trent water)

Sightseers wishing to catch a glimpse of the Derbyshire village lost beneath Ladybower reservoir have been warned of the potential dangers after a number have become trapped in the surrounding mud. 

Low water levels at the beauty spot in the Hope Valley near Sheffield, have revealed the ruins of the village Derwent, which was flooded in 1943 to make way for the reservoir. 

The lost village of Derwent is still visible and drawing the crowds (Picture: Severn Trent water)

The lost village of Derwent is still visible and drawing the crowds (Picture: Severn Trent water)

People continue to flock to the area hoping to catch a glimpse of the remnants of the forgotten buildings, which include a church, village hall and manor house.

However, they are being warned not to venture onto the reservoir bed, after multiple people have become trapped, including one man who became stuck in deep mud whilst inspecting the ruins, before being eventually freed 30 minutes later by rescue teams. 

Edale Mountain Rescue Team are now welcoming visitors to the area, but asking them to listen to safety warnings.

Posting on Facebook, they said: “Ok people, we’ll not lie - there is some fascinating history that is being revealed in and around Ladybower currently.

The remains of the lost village (Picture: Ladybower Reservoir)

The remains of the lost village (Picture: Ladybower Reservoir)

“We can’t ignore that it’s popular, but do pay heed to the warnings - there have been multiple instances of people venturing onto the mud and getting trapped. Some of it is like “rice pudding with skin on” - it looks solid but it’s not. Come, see the ruins but stick to the shore!”

Derwent was not the only village to be sacrificed to make way for Ladybower reservoir.

With a population of around 100 people, Ashopton was a small village with a post office, church and local garage, which stood beside the main road from Sheffield to Glossop before meeting a water grave.

However, the remains of the village now lay hidden beneath silt.

The remains of another lost village hidden beneath the neighbouring Derwent reservoir have also resurfaced in recent months. 

What is left of the Ouzelden Bridge, once used by residents of Birchinlee Village, has been exposed by the receding water there.

Birchinlee, which was built to house navvies building the dams and it became known as Tin Town due to the distinctive makeshift buildings – including its own church, school and police and fire stations.

Remnants of ‘Tin Town’ can still be seen when walking to the west of Derwent Reservoir.

Severn Trent Water has said the reservoir's levels are ‘lower than normal’ following the dry, hot summer.

They expect to refill the reservoir over the rest of autumn and winter, with water can being moved from nearby reservoirs if needed.