The Derwent Dam and The Howden Dam are very similar in their appearance and if only looking at pictures this can be a bit confusing. They are also just one and three quarter miles away from each other and the Howden when overflowing drains into the Derwent reservoir.

The Derwent Dam has a grass pasture in front of it as well as The Fairholmes Visitors Centre just a few hundred yards away. This will be the first one you will come to unless you have been walking over mountains! The Derwent dam has a crest of 600ft between its Towers, whereas The Howden has just 500ft. Oh, and the Derwent dam has The Dambuster's 617 Squadron memorial in its Western Tower gate house as well as having The Derwent Museum in the Tower itself..

The Howden Dam when 'overflowing' over its crest goes directly into the Derwent's reservoir, there is no grass pasture nor Visitor's Centre nearby. There is a private residence near the Western Tower of the Howden dam. After The Howden dam the small road becomes more twisting and the Howden's reservoir is quite narrow in places compared to that of the Derwent's.

Looking at the dams exposed surfaces of masonary of the overflow weir the 'dog holes' have been dressed out in the Derwent, however in the Howden these have been left untouched or crudely dressed out. This is useful in identification when looking at close up pictures old and new that do not reveal surrounding features of the landscapes of the two dams.

So at the top of the valley some 5 miles away {by road} from The Visitors centre the reservoirs start with the river Derwent and river Westend filling the Howden reservoir as well as many small streams and brooks. The point where the river Derwent feeds the reservoir is known as Slippery Stones where the Packhorse bridge is also located.

The Howden Dam then holds back this from the lower and sometimes low water level of the Derwent reservoir. The popular Derwent dam then holds back its water from the Visitors centre below where if having travelled by car visitors will have passed the larger and more open area of the Ladybower reservoir with the A57 running across the top.

Both the Howden and Derwent dam were constructed by 1916, however 18 workers lost their lives in the 15 years it took to build them.