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Belmont Reservoir Treaty Memorial, High Street, Belmont

Belmont is a small moorland village on the A675 close to the Greater Manchester border the town of Bolton and stands 900ft above sea level. The original hamlet was called Horden but was renamed in 1804 - the new name meaning beautiful hill. Remains of the old name can still be found at Hordern Pasture and Stoops to the West of the village. The village was based on the industries of bleaching and dyeing, although stone quarrying was formerly carried out to a large extent. Much of the housing (built in local millstone grit) was built to accommodate the calico print works that closed down in the 1860's. At it's height the population of the village trebled. The village has now reverted back to a mainly rural moorland community, although the Bleach Works are a reminder of the villages industrial past. Some of the houses off Maria Square, opposite the Black Dog are on such a steep hillside that they have two storeys at the front, but four at the back.

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The village located three miles north west of Bolton along the A675 which was a turnpike road constructed shortly after 1800 to link Preston with Bolton, is dominated by Winter Hill, the highest point in the West Pennines & the area is popular with walkers. Many ramblers use the Black Dog as a stopping off point. The pub is one of the few that served the excellent Manchester based Joseph Holt ale. If however, you prefer sailing or canoeing, the local reservoirs have well established clubs - Belmont Reservoir (Bolton Sailing Club) and Delph Reservoir (Delph Sailing Club). Another reservoir - The Wards Reservoir locally known as the Blue Lagoon, is owned privately by Belmont Bleach Works. The supply of water for public consumption is taken from the Springs Reservoir and the Dingle Reservoir.

An unusual feature of the village is the street name plaques - carved stone in oval cartouches. Millworker's cottages can be found along High Street and Maria Square.

Belmont's most notable resident was an Edward Deakin owner of the local Bleachworks  who went on to become High Sheriff of Lancashire and personal friend of Lord Leverhulme. He resided at Hilltop House overlooking the village, unfortunately the house was destroyed by fire in the early 1900's.

Engraved on the Belmont Reservoir Treaty Memorial (pictured above) is the following:

By section 13 of the Bolton Corporation Act 1905 it was enacted as follows:

Section 13. As from the date when the Corporation shall become entitled under the provisions of this Act to appropriate and use for the purpose of their Water undertaking the Water of the Belmont Reservoir they shall cause to flow out of that Reservoir into the Eagley brook as Compensation Water in respect of the Water so appropriated a supply of Water at the rate of 1758,600 gallons during twelve hours of every day (Sundays, Good Fridays and Christmas Days only excepted) in a regular and continuous flow between five o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the afternoon.

This protection for Belmont was only obtained after a strenuous fight in both Houses of Parliament and after the Select Committee of the House of Lords through their Chairman the Duke of Northumberland has intimated that the interests of Belmont must be secured by a discharge of Compensation Water from the Belmont Reservoir for the protection of the industry of Belmont and the people dependent on that industry.

To whom it may concern. See to the above patrimony being preserved in its entirety and in perpetuity. Edward Deakin. March 1907.


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Unless specified, all materials are the Copyright of Dave Smith

Last modified:
29th April, 2008

North of Ward's Reservoir near to the church is the Potato Pie Path.. Villagers used to use this path to transport peat from the moors. The landowners attempted to stop this by blocking the path. In outrage the villagers held a sit-in for a week on the path. They were sustained by potato pies from supporters in the village during the sit-in until the landowner eventually gave in. A supper celebrating the successful defence of the public right of way was also catered with Potato Pies which contributed to the naming of the path.

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