War Defences Emerge From Threipmuir Reservoir

Visitors to Threipmuir Reservoir above Balerno will find themselves looking at an alien landscape. The main western basin of the reservoir is dry, apart from a trickle running through from the new dam structures at the bridge leading up to Easter Bavelaw Farm and a small pond gathered in front of the piers. This dam is holding water back into Bavelaw Marsh.

Threipmuir Reservoir

Living in Balerno for all of my 60+ years I have never seen Threipmuir pond as dry before.

Walking along the dry basin of the reservoir my wife and I, and the dog, came across what looked like telegraph poles, lying flat, sunk into the dry bed of the reservoir. This triggered an old memory. I remembered some older villagers describing defences that were erected around Threipmuir Reservoir during the Second World War. Large poles were sunk into the fields surrounding Threipmuir to stop aircraft or gliders landing. Poles were also sunk into the bed of the reservoir and large pyramid structures were also made to stop seaplanes landing. I was advised that they didn\’t bother with these structures at Harlaw Reservoir as they had felt that it was too tight for a landing and ably protected by its fringe of trees.

Threipmuir Reservoir

Douglas Lowe