The Corbet Lough Reservoir

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BAC – The Corbet Column – Public Art at Corbet Lough

Although the Corbet Lough is now primarily known as a premier game angling venue and a very popular stop off spot for locals, visitors and tourists travelling from the Banbridge area towards Castlewellan, Newcastle and the scenic Kingdom of Mourne it was not originally conceived as either an angling or a tourist facility.

There was a small shallow Lough at the location known as the Corbet Lough. The current Corbet Lough Reservoir was constructed as part of the construction works for Lough Island Reavy as a primary source auxiliary / assistant reservoir to supplement the River Bann for the linen mills downstream around Banbridge, Moyallen and Portadown. These linen mills were economically very important and they were the main employers for the local community in these times. The Corbet Lough was filled via a race from the River Bann over night when the mills were not working. When the Corbet Lough was required its water was released back into the River Bann via the sluice gate in the Corbet Lough dam wall.  The race and the sluice gate are still evident with the race now stagnant and the sluice gate still used to control the water levels in the Corbet Lough. The construction of the Corbet Lough was completed in 1847 at a cost of £3,300. It was designed to retain 22,000,000 Cubic Feet of water. It was calculated to increase the horse power of the River Bann from 2HP to 11HP per foot of fall at the linen mills around Banbridge. The design left nothing to question with its initiative automatic gates allowing the Lough to fill. Any surplus water returned over a section described as “Waste Water Course “. Then back to the River Bann.

Sam Watt, Club Chair located a number of interesting documents including the Corbet Lough Construction Drawings and these are now included for viewing on the Publications Page of this website under the titles The Corbet Lough Reservoir and The Corbet Lough Construction Drawings. The Corbet Column Public Art which is situated at the entrance to the Corbet Lough recognises and celebrates the Lough since its construction.