Originally a small pool named Roach Pool in Rotton Park it was extensively enlarged by Thomas Telford between 1824-1829 to supply water to the Birmingham and Wolverhampton Levels of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) canal system via Icknield Port Loop. It was excavated to a depth of 40 feet (12 m) and covers an area of , holding of water, and was the largest expanse of water in Birmingham at the time. It is supplied by small streams and a feeder from Titford Reservoir (Titford Pools) in Oldbury. It was formed by damming a small stream. The dam is a 330 metre long earth embankment with a height of 10 metres near the centre.
The reservoir and gatehouse were designed by Thomas Telford and the latter is a listed building in corporate BCN octagonal style.In 1873, it was crossed by Charles Blondin, on a tightrope. His feat is marked by a 1992 statue on the nearby Ladywood Middleway ring road.
In addition to supplying water to local canals, the reservoir is used for leisure activities including angling, sailing,... Read More