Piethorne valley

This beautiful valley is characterised by its 3 principal reservoirs, which are surrounded by a tapestry of moorland, woodland and farmland accessible by numerous footpaths and bridleways.

The reservoirs were constructed by Oldham Corporation Waterworks, Piethorne, Kitcliffe, Hangin Lees and Norman Hill was built first. The Water Act 1870 obligated the company to build Ogden reservoir to compensate Piethorne Brook; work began in 1872 and Ogden was finished in 1878. The last reservoir to be built was Rooden, 1894 to 1901.

The Lime House was built during the construction of Piethorne Reservoir, around 1866. Lime was stored in the building and added to the main feeder stream to reduce the acidity of the water coming down off the moors, this building and simple procedure was the first treatment works built to treat drinking water in the local area.

  • Bridleway
  • Fishing
  • Nature reserve
  • Environment trail

How to find us... Waterworks Road, Newhey, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, OL16 3TQ Tel: 01706 881049

  • Toilets
  • Dog Walking
  • Disabled Access
  • View Point

Piethorne Valley is situated on the A640 between Newhey and Denshaw. Can be accessed from Junction 21 of the M62.

Free Car Parking

Opening times: Open all day, every day

Piethorne directions map

Hollingworth Lake Country Park and Visitors Centre

Hollingworth Lake Country Park and Visitors Centre

There's lots to do for all the family including walks, trails, bird watching & fishing.

The Rams Head Inn, Farm Shop & Deli

The Rams Head Inn, Farm Shop & Deli

Located by Ogdens reservoir, popular with walkers and cyclists.

Reservoir safety

Reservoir safety

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

Did you know?

  • There were originally 14 farmsteads around Piethorne Valley and the last to be destroyed was Coldgreaves farm in the 1950s.
  • A late Bronze Age leaf-shaped spear head over 6 inches long was found in Piethorne Reservoir during a drought.
  • One key features of this area are the sunken lanes or hollow ways, these are ancient lanes formed by erosion from the constant passage of wagons and animals over a number of centuries.
  • ‘Og’ means oak and ‘den’ is a valley or dene, so Ogden means the ‘valley or dale with oak trees’.
  • Thorn is a common thorn for briar tree, and ‘pie’ is for pynot or magpies, so the name ‘Piethorne’ explains itself.
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