The valley of Dalehead and the village of Stocks in Bowland are no longer to be found on maps of the Forest of Bowland on the border between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Much of the area of the upper Hodder Valley was flooded by the construction of a dam in the 1920s and early 1930s to create Stocks Reservoir in order to collect water for the increasing population of Blackpool and the Fylde.
In the years prior to the First World War, the Fylde Water Board purchased land and farms in the three townships of Easington, Bowland Forest Higher Division and Gisburn Forest to provide a water catchment area. A dam was then built across the River Hodder and 344 acres of the valley were flooded by March 1933 to form Stocks Reservoir.
Over the years following the purchase of the land in Dale Head the water catchment area was depopulated, many of the old farmsteads were demolished and a large proportion of the remaining land was planted with Sitka Spruce, Norway Spruce and Larch trees by the Forestry Commission to create "Gisburn Forest".
Stocks Reservoir and the surrounding water catchment area are now sensitively managed by United Utilities PLC and Forest Enterprises who balance the primary aim of providing clean water with the subsidiary needs of the environment, wildlife, farming, forestry, outdoor activities and tourism.
This non-profit making website aims to record, display and share some of the history and genealogy of the flooded village of Stocks-in-Bowland, the valley of Dalehead and of those former residents who were forced to leave their homes by the creation of Stocks Reservoir. Much of the information and photographs on this site have been kindly donated by interested individuals and descendants of Dale Head residents. United Utilities PLC have kindly allowed the reproduction of many photographs from their archives. In addition the Lancashire Library Service has allowed the use of many photographs from their collection of the work of Clitheroe photographer, Edmundson Buck. This site would not have been possible without the help of these individuals and organisations.
This website is very reliant on old photographs. Some pages may therefore be rather slow to load.
If there is any material inadvertently used without the permission of the copyright holder please contact us as any such material will be removed forthwith.
Copyright © 2004 D.A. & C. Higham. All Rights Reserved.