Thirlmere Gardens

Tucked in between Looseleigh Lane, Tamerton Foliot Road and the back of Crownhill Fort are a number of streets named after various parts of the Lake District, among them Thirlmere Gardens.

Thirlmere Lake is a little different to most of its neighbours in that it is, strictly speaking, a reservoir. It is the man-made consequence of the damming of two small lakes at the end of the nineteenth century. The resultant reservoir supplies the city of Manchester through almost 100 miles of tunnels, channels and pipelines.

In the early days it was walled to prevent public access and it is now surrounded by thick spruce woodland.

The name – Thirlmere – has been with us for over four hundred years and is said to mean “the lake with the gap” and it is thought that the gap in question may have been a narrow strip of water that was a feature of the “waist” of Thirlmere, before the somewhat controversial intervention of the Manchester Waterworks.

An ancient village, Wythborn, lies below the water, while in Australia there is another Thirlmere, in another region characterised by lakes. This small (under-4,000 strong) community has its origins in the 1830s.