The reservoir was commissioned in 1878 collecting water from Piethorne Brook and Wickenhall Brook, to provide drinking water for Oldham.
This water is an excellent and well regarded fishing water. The fishing for roach perch bream carp and pike is outstanding and it is a joy to fish in such a peacefull location situated in the beautiful Pennine Hills. Fish caught in the 2007 and 2008 seasons include Bream to 13lb, Carp to 28lb and Pike to 25lb. Day tickets are avalible on bank for £5.
In the year 2005, the body of a man was discovered floating on a nearby overflow.