Report - - Ladybower Resorvoir Outlet Derbyshire May 2017 | UK Draining Forum | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ladybower Resorvoir Outlet Derbyshire May 2017


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Ladybower reservoir is a large Y shaped reservoir in the Peak district, its the largest of three in the upper derwent valley. It was built between 1935 and 1943 the project being delayed due to shortage of labour and materials as a result of the second world war. Due to its strategic importance of maintaining water supplies work continued and was completed in 1943, it then took 2 years to fill and was finally opened on 25 September 1945 by king George VI. It is interesting to note that as the reservoir was filling and final works carried out the area and sky in 1944 was full of Lancaster bombers of 617 squadron who were practicing on the Derwent dam just further up the valley in preparation their famous Dambusters raid.
Near the Ladybower dam wall there are two enclosed bell mouth overflows locally known as the "plugholes" and it is the far one of these and its outlet that this explore is about

The Explore
The day I had chosen for the explore had heavy showers forecast so going underground seemed a good idea. I had a early start so it would be quite around the dam embankment, but it appeared that the area is very popular with dog walkers and tourist looking at the plugholes. I got down to the outlet and crouched in the undergrowth waiting for the all clear before descending the locked access ladder, not easy. At the bottom I was surprised at the size of the outlet pipe 15 foot in diameter I took a few photographs of the outlet including a ladder that went no ware.

I then ventured up the massive outlet pipe and was met by a fine mist blowing down the pipe that appeared as fog in my torchlight. at first I thought that in these conditions light painting was out but using a flash and 5 sec exposure it gave some interesting photographs showing up the beam of light from my torch no sooner had the mist appeared that it disappeared, I think it was a heavy rain shower outside coming down the plughole and sort of vaporizing as the rain drops hit the concrete then sucked through the outlet by a draught of air.

In the clearer conditions I managed a few light painting photographs, I tried to get a photograph looking up the giant plughole itself but very steep and slippy and awkward to photo with light flooding down. Heading back down the outlet pipe I realized how short the pipe was at about 150 meters but its sheer size and location made a great explore

The Photographs

Waiting for the All Clear

Not Easy This

The Outlet

Ladder to No Where

Its Big

Like the Bow of a ship

The Outlet Through The Mist

Towards the Plughole

Bottom of Plughole

Up The Plughole

Towards Plughole Clearer Conditions



28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
That fine mist has given you a couple of cracking photos with your torch.
It was like shining a torch in fog as the light reflected back. I fired a flash of at side of me against the wall to get silhouette, but left shutter on 5 second exposure to get torch beam and area in front exposed, thanks


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Love it !! Only tens mins. from me but never done it. Looks like it has been changed over the years? Probs. to improve flow.
Definitely worth it for the sheer size, as your probably aware this is the farthest outlet from road, but still busy with walkers etc


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Love it !! Only tens mins. from me but never done it. Looks like it has been changed over the years? Probs. to improve flow.
The Dam wall was re profiled in 1999, some 400,00 tons of rock were added to the face and the crest was lifted to compensate for settlement. The steps are now under the expanded dam face.

First posting, so please be gentle with me. If anyone would like any more info about the reprofiling and ongoing settlement of Ladybower Dam I'd be happy to post it up.