Damflask Reservoir

Damflask is a man made reservoir that can hold up to 1,123 million gallons of water covering 47 hectares, at its longest it is approximately 2000m long and 88 feet deep. It is the last of a four reservoir system, Dale Dyke, Strines, Agden and Damflask, built to provide clean water for the city and it’s industries.

The reservoir is now used by many people every week, as a lovely place for a walk, a brilliant spot of fishing or as a water sport venue. We share the water with our neighbours the Viking Sailing Club and we’re happy to welcome back the Sea Cadets as of April 2024. Swimming is prohibited by Yorkshire Water due to the risks of swimming in man-made reservoirs, this is especially important when rowers or sailors are out on the water as it is very difficult to see a head popping out of the water.

However, it wasn’t always like this. Long ago, in 1863 Damflask was a small village with a number of houses, a pub, a wire mill and a farm shop. But unfortunately, during the Great Sheffield Flood much of the village was washed away. In March 1864, the Dale Dyke Dam burst after a small crack allowed a trickle of water to grow into a torrent of fast moving destruction. When the dam collapsed, 3,000,000 litres of water was free to roll down the Loxley Valley and wreak havoc on it’s way. 

The Old Wire Mill

Due to the damage caused by the flood and existing plans to turn the valley into a reservoir the village was never rebuilt. Although some residents did return and live there for a number of years.

A relic from the past

During repair work in 1942, the dam was drained just low enough for an old stone bridge to be visible. We haven't seen the water level drop this low and all of the foundations of the village have been submerged for over 80 years.

However, the residents of Damflask were luckier than the other villages in the water's path as when the crack was discovered a young man, Stevenson Fountain was sent to the city on horseback to fetch the chief engineer. However, his saddle broke and he had to wait in Damflask until a repair could be made. He warned the residents about the crack and potential calamity, those that listened moved to higher ground and avoided the oncoming wave.