Above: Many thanks to Mark Anderson for sending this fantastic drone photo showing how far the water level has dropped in Errwood Reservoir. I’ve circled the area where most of the finds have been made, including the small ceramic pot.

The recent drought has revealed many features in the landscape that were submerged when Errwood Reservoir was flooded in 1968, including stone walls, gateposts and the foundations of houses and barns. But some more personal items have also been found, particularly at one spot at the southeast of the reservoir.

Chris – my co-admin on the Goyt Valley Facebook Group – thinks this may have been the site of a midden where household rubbish was dumped. Probably from Goytsbridge Farm which once served teas to the many visitors who flocked to this picturesque spot.

I’ve circled the spot on this map from the 1890s. Simply click the ‘Now’ button – or drag the green slider – to see a satellite view of the same area, showing how far into the water of the reservoir it usually lies.

It was at a bend in the lane that ran down from the Buxton to Whaley Bridge Long Hill road, known as Sandy Lane. It’s just possible to make out the walls around one of Goytsbridge Farm’s barns on the aerial photo at the top of the page. And the foundations of another barn that lay at the bottom centre. Both of these features are shown on the old map.

The orange arrow on this photo – probably taken shortly before the buildings were demolished in the 1930s – shows where we think the midden may have been, behind the stone wall at the far end of the barn.

It was taken from Goytsbridge Farm, with Sandy Lane running down towards the packhorse bridge, and Goytshead Farm at top right (click to enlarge). I’ve put a red arrow on the 1890s map showing where the photographer must have been standing.

A small sign on the wall of the barn points left towards the tea rooms. At one time teas were served from the farmhouse itself – but it looks like they may have moved into the barn itself by this time. So it’s probably not surprising they dumped broken crockery and other rubbish here.

Above: This is a fairly typical collection of household rubbish that has been collected from the area.

United Utilities (the owners of the land) are keen to discourage people from digging in the area because of safety concerns. But the ground is fairly solid, if a bit muddy, and I think water levels will soon rise again. And I doubt anything more of any interest will be found.

A lot of the finds have been posted on the Facebook Group and range from rusted cans of tinned food to old bottles and jars. I’ve put a few of the more attractive and interesting ones below, and will add to them if new ones appear.

Before and after cleaning photos of a tiny ceramic lion cub found by Patricia.

An unusual bottle and what we think may have been part of a floor protector for a piano foot found by Rowan.

Page update: 26th September 2022

The BBC recently got in touch to ask me about some of the objects that have appeared above the surface of Errwood Reservoir. Click here to view their report.

Topic tags (click for similar posts): Errwood Reservoir | Goyt's Bridge | Then & now fades