Devastating damage to Fernilee & Whaley Bridge.

Devastating damage to Toddbrook reservoir and residents of Whaley Bridge were forced to leave home.

But Whaley Bridge town people were not the only people to suffer.


Fernilee Hamlet was cut off for several days with extensive floods and damage.

A farmer and a dozen residents had to move a mountain stone, rocks, tree trunks to gain access to their homes. 

A few weeks later the upper part and our cottage looked fine difficult to imagine the trauma to hit the small hamlet.
Overbrook Cottage had suffered the worst.
Had a chat a chat to Jill. 

On that terrible Wednesday Jill was coming back from Whaley Bridge the rain was pelting down she could hardly see
the wipers could not clear the windscreen fast enough. She arrived back home went downstairs could not understand water 2 foot up on her patio window.

 Water started dripping from the floor above she apprehensively went upstairs and met a wall of water a foot high at her front door there was also thick mud at her top door and rocks, tree roots and all sorts deposited outside her front door so, if she hadn’t got in when she did, Jill wouldn’t have been able to get into the cottage as the water was pouring down the steps to her lower floor door.

The water was dirty smelly with floating animal poo. Badgers have been spotted outside Jill’s. Road killed Badgers have been seen crossing from the woods from river valley onto the main road near the plastic barriers between the Green and Stony gate.

Yet unbelievably after 2 minutes it was all over and water started receding very quickly.
The whole of the bridge was full of water on both sides going past our garage space and up to three foot high outside the Coach House gate.

I was curious to find out why this happened yes there was torrential rain for many hours. 
Why did the flood last only two minutes?

I climbed over the barrier and did some rock climbing up Stony gate. Used my mobile phone to take some pictures.
The going was very difficult with loose rocks and drops in the road nearly five foot.
I approached the old railway bridge and went further up the road and about 15ft past the bridge the road was clear.

My theory is the valley in front of Cairn Cottage/Rock Cottage now named Stony gate filled up to the old railway embankment missing the tiny holiday cottage adjacent to Stonygate.
Creating a huge reservoir of water until the upper ground burst creating a massive landslide and devastating flood. Hydraulic pressure from the weight of water could have lifted rocks under the road.
This valley must have been filling up with water for several days or weeks. You can see on the tree trunks how high the water level rose.

How did the water get into the valley on Long Hill? Just above the valley a six foot section of the wall had collapsed this has been like
this for over 12months always a worry for us when taking Jazz a walk round the block a plastic barrier was put in front but still a huge drop down to the river.
My speculation the river became swollen took the shortest root over the road and down into the valley through the broken wall.
A few weeks later a Representatives from the Council called at Jill’s and said that the culvert up near the top of Stonygate Longhill had become blocked causing an enormous flood across the road.

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Fernilee Whaley Bridge Flood