Due to unprecedented expansion in the 19th century Belfast was running short of water by 1890. In 1891 LL Macassey reported to the Belfast Water Commissioners on the matter and recommended going to the Mournes for future supplies.
A pipeline was built by 1905 to bring water to Belfast from the Kilkeel and Annalong rivers. The construction of a dam to store water began in the Silent Valley in 1923. After encountering and overcoming major ground problems the dam was completed in 1933 and the reservoir has been supplying water to Belfast and north Down ever since.
After an introductory talk at the site see the beautiful setting, the explanatory plaques, wonder at the achievements of 90 years ago and also visit the associated Ben Crom dam.
Programmed in partnership with ICE