On our first day in England we took a drive through the snow-dappled Peak District to Derwent dam (or reservoir as they call it) in Derbyshire. Derwent is the middle dam of three on the Derwent River with Howden to the north and Ladybower to the south.
Derwent was built along with Howden between 1902 and 1916 to supply water to the industrial cities of Sheffield, Leicester, Derby and Nottingham.
Over a million tonnes of stone were transported via a specifically built railway from a quarry near Grindleford and more than one thousand workers were housed in a custom-built self-contained village known as Tin Town. The railway and the town no longer exist.
This spectacular dam played a big part in the second World War for the Royal Air Forces 617 squadron. The Lancaster bomber pilots spent hours practising low-flying over the water at night in preparation for their epic “Dam Busters” bombing of German dams.