The reservoir of Dean Mills is situated high on the southwestern extension of Winter Hill known as Counting Hill and above the Smithills area of Bolton. This was once a pair of small reservoirs that served Dean Mills down in the valley below at Barrow Bridge.
One reservoir remains, the other was drained long ago and although completely overgrown with moorland vegetation, the outline of its embankments can still be seen in a roughly triangular shape.
Ice and Slush on Reservoir of Dean Mills image by munki-boy
Reservoir of Dean Mills looking East image by munki-boy
Reservoir of Dean Mills looking West image by munki-boy
Old Sluice Mechanism at Reservoir of Dean Mills image by munki-boy
The North Shore of Reservoir of Dean Mills image by munki-boy
SSSI Notice on Reservoir of Dean Mills image by munki-boy
The Reservoir of Dean Mills part of the SSSI on Winter Hill image by munki-boy
Reservoir of Dean Mills in Summer image by munki-boy
Heather on the shores of Reservoir of Dean Mills image by munki-boy
Marker type: Lake
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The highest point for miles and just short of a mountain, Winter Hill is a key part of the West Pennine Moors and a habitat for a huge range of wildlife. With evidence of occupation going back literally thousands of years there is plenty of history on and under the hill. Winter Hill was also the site of a historic mass trespass that gave us open access to much of the moorland today.
The site of a small hamlet and fireclay works high on Winter Hill, once housing families employed in the local quarrying, mining and fireclay industries. Often passed by walkers on their way up the hill, there are a number of interesting industrial remains hidden in the moorland grass.
High on the summit of the often foreboding Noon Hill is a Bronze Age round cairn topped by a more recent cairn of uncertain age. The round cairn was excavated in the 1950’s/60’s and yielded several cremations and funery ornaments now in the possesion of Bolton Museum. This site is rumoured to have been put to use in more recent times as a secret meeting place for persecuted Christians.