Ashworth moor reservoir

The land around Ashworth Moor was purchased by Heywood and Middleton Water Board in the 1880’s to ensure pollution free supplies for the proposed Ashworth Moor reservoir which was built c.1905.

Below the reservoir is the ruin of Cheesden Lumb Mill, which was built in 1786 by John Kay as a fulling mill. Later the mill extended its activities to include carding, bleaching and dyeing. Due to bigger mills being built closer to Rochdale, Cheesden Lumb changed its production to recycling cotton waste, and then lastly ended up producing lamp wicks, before it finally closed around 1898. The mill was advertised for sell, but remained unsold so the mill was abandoned and the land brought by the Water Authority in 1909 from the Earl of Derby.

The roof remained till about 1920, but by 1952, the mill was a ruin, with the stone probably taken to be reused.

In February 1990, a large portion of the façade collapsed and was rebuilt with joint funding from English Heritage and the then named North West Water, the Mill and surrounding land is now owned and protected by United Utilities Plc.

  • Heritage
  • Nature reserve
  • Environment trail

How to find us... 01706 881049

  • Dog Walking
  • View Point

From Rochdale follow Edenfield Road (A680) through Norden, Ashworth Moor reservoir is about 1 mile past the village, parking available in a large layby on the left. From Edenfield, the reservoir is opposite Owd Betts pub on the A680.

Opening times: all day, every day

Ashworth moor directions map

Owd betts pub

Owd betts pub

Owd Betts traditional English country inn is close to Ashworth Moor reservoir. Find out more...

Healey Dell Nature Reserve

Healey Dell Nature Reserve

Healey Dell is rich in wildlife, with a fascinating archaeological history and easy to reach.

Reservoir safety

Reservoir safety

Every year, people are injured or die while swimming in reservoirs. Stay safe, stay out.

Did you know?

  • There were once 14 mills down Cheesden Valley. The first mills were small moorland mills at Four Acres and Cheesden Pasture, these were built by farmers to supplement their meagre income from sheep grazing.
  • Ashworth Moor Reservoir was made a Grade B Site of Biological Importance (SBI) in 1980’s to protect the habitats of wading bird.
  • Look out at the ruins of Chessden Lumb mill, there is a craving of a dolphin at the bottom of the front facade near to the water; this was apparently carved by a local artist.
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