Abandoned Scar House Village – North Yorkshire, England - Atlas Obscura

Abandoned Scar House Village

The remains of a remote village that once housed over 1,200 dam workers and their families. 


The Scar House Reservoir was constructed during the 1920s, the last reservoir to be built in the magnificent Nidd Valley in North Yorkshire. It was built to supply water to the nearby city of Bradford, and took 15 years to complete. During the construction of the dam, a temporary village was established for the workers and their families. At one point this remote place was home to more than 1,200 people.

The villagers lived in relative luxury for the era, in spacious living quarters with hot and cold running water, rare for working-class housing at the time. The village included 10 single men’s hostels that accommodated over 60 men each, as well as married quarters, a school, shops, laundry, and the village hall. 

When construction of the reservoir was completed, the village was abandoned and all but disappeared. Today, there is little evidence that this rolling countryside was ever a small community; all that remains are the concrete foundations of some of the old wooden houses. There is also a small concrete structure that was a late addition tagged on to the rear of the village hall. The hall belatedly obtained a license as a cinema and the concrete building was the added projection room. (The wooden village hall itself was moved to the nearby village of Darley.) You can also see evidence of the old incline railway that once carried quarried stone for the dam, before closing in 1937.

Know Before You Go

The map coordinates above will take you to a parking lot by the Scar House Reservoir. 

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June 12, 2019

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