Thirlmere, at 3.5 miles long, 1.2 mile wide and 158 feet deep, was originally two smaller lakes, which were purchased by Manchester City Corporation Waterworks in 1889. The area was dammed with a dam whose greatest height is 104 feet, and the area became one vast reservoir. In the process, the settlements of Armboth and Wythburn were submerged, the only remaining building being the little church at Wythburn.

image of Thirlmere and Blencathra from Steel Fell
Thirlmere and Blencathra from Steel Fell. Photo by Dave Brown

Over 2000 acres of spruce and larch were planted from 1908, and these have lost some of their austere appearance, with more broad-leafed trees being planted now.

image of a view across Thirlmere towards Helvellyn and Dunmail Raise
Across Thirlmere towards Helvellyn and Dunmail Raise. Photo by Ann Bowker

The lake is best appreciated from the little road that threads its way along the west shore line. The lake, now owned by North West Water, has recently been opened to the public. There is access at the several lay-bys and car parks along the west road.

image of an aerial view of Thirlmere reservoir in the Lake District
Aerial view of Thirlmere. Photo by Simon Ledingham.

Location : Keswick / Grasmere  –  Grid Ref : NY 310170

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