Victorian reservoir opens to public

Thousands of visitors have flocked to the opening of a former Victorian reservoir.

The old Leyland Reservoir at Clayton-le-Woods is open to the public for a fortnight before it disappears under 14 new homes being built by Southport-based developer Kingswood Homes.

The old underground Leyland Reservoir on Back Lane in Clayton-le-Woods. The reservoir is to be demolished for a housing development but is open to the public for two weeks

The old underground Leyland Reservoir on Back Lane in Clayton-le-Woods. The reservoir is to be demolished for a housing development but is open to the public for two weeks

Boyd Harris, of Chorley Historical and Archaeological Society, said: “On Saturday, there were 700 visitors.

“The word must have spread as the Sunday opening was much busier with a constant stream of visitors during the 10am to 4pm opening period. By 4pm around 2,000 people had come.

“Almost everyone was taking pictures on their phones and tablets. It is said Anthony Gormley’s Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead is the most photographed structure in the UK.

“There is no doubt on Sunday it was this – and probably the highest number of photographs taken underground anywhere in the world.”

Schoolchildren from nearby Manor Road Primary School will be taken on conducted tours on Thursday and Friday.

Kingswood Homes have produced a free commemorative booklet detailing the reservoir’s history.