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Long-lost UK village re-appears centuries after being submerged

Tom Wood

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Long-lost UK village re-appears centuries after being submerged

The warm weather has revealed a medieval village that has been submerged beneath the waters of a reservoir for decades.

Over the course of this summer, there has been a lot of concern over the prolonged periods of heat and dry weather across much – although not all – of the UK.

Obviously, it’s an indicator that human-influenced climate change is a serious issue that is only going to get worse if we don’t do something drastic soon.

Excessive heat and droughts could become the norm even in more northerly parts of the world if left unchecked.

However, on this occasion the drought and heat has thrown up something that is really interesting, a village that was sunk beneath a reservoir in North Yorkshire.

Even some ruined buildings remain. Credit: Nichola Barningham/Facebook
Even some ruined buildings remain. Credit: Nichola Barningham/Facebook

Under Scar House Reservoir in the Nidd Valley is an old village that was vacated for the last time when the reservoir was built in the 1920s.

Only when the weather is at the most dry are parts of it revealed, including old ruins of houses that usually sit on the bottom out of view.

There’s quite a history to it, as the medieval settlement of Lodge was nearby, a farming community that was overseen by a monastery nearby run by Cistercian monks.

Then, after the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of King Henry VIII, the area was sold into private ownership.

As the water of Scar House Reservoir has receded and evaporated, more of the settlement has become visible, including stone walls, gates, and bits of old homes.

The water levels are seriously low just now. Credit: Nichola Barningham/Facebook
The water levels are seriously low just now. Credit: Nichola Barningham/Facebook

No-one has lived in the village for around a century.

Before the reservoir was created, the settlement is thought to have been home to around 1,250 people. However, the good folks of Yorkshire needed water during the early 20th century, meaning that the village was flooded over and a dam was installed.

This isn’t a story unique to Scar House, as many other villages and hamlets around the country were emptied to make way for large water storage lakes.

The latest images of the village were taken by local resident Nichola Barningham, who spotted them whilst she was out walking.

The last time the village was visible was during the drought summer of 1995, when temperatures once again soared.

The village was inhabited until the 1920s. Credit: Nichola Barningham/Facebook
The village was inhabited until the 1920s. Credit: Nichola Barningham/Facebook

If something isn’t done about climate change, we might be seeing more and more of the village as time progresses.

While it’s no doubt a fascinating bit of history, that’s not exactly a piece of good news for us.

Incidentally, Yorkshire Water has issued a statement about entering reservoirs even when they are not filled.

The company said: "People should not be entering our reservoirs to swim, or onto parts that are usually submerged,

"They are functioning reservoirs and do pose a risk to people entering them, including cold water shock, undercurrents, unseen objects and machinery working under the water."

Featured Image Credit: Nichola Barningham

Topics: UK News, Weird, Weather

Tom Wood
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