Published On: Wed, May 14th, 2014 on 1:48 pm

Mysterious plaque found in Ogden Water tunnel on display

Ogden Water Plaque

Mayor of Calderdale Cllr Ann Martin unveils the plaque

A strange hand-carved stone plaque, which was found in a reservoir tunnel at Ogden Water, is now on public display for all to see.

Unveiled by the Mayor of Calderdale Cllr Ann Martin, the plaque weighs almost a tonne and stands on a custom-built plinth near the Ogden Water café.

Yorkshire Water and Calderdale Council saved the plaque last year during work to strengthen the 140-metre tunnel that runs under Ogden reservoir.

It took two days to remove from the mouth of the tunnel and the team had to use an eight tonne excavator to lift it from the place it had stood for nearly 160 years.

Andrew Hobson, Yorkshire Water Senior Project Manager, recounted: “We were amazed when we found the plaque and obviously really keen to ensure we lifted it safely from the ground.

“Now we’ve got it on display we hope the public in the area can come and enjoy this local artefact which has survived for well over 150 years.”

The plaque features John The Baptist, a popular reference in Halifax architecture and a feature of the town’s coat of arms, as well as Halifax Waterworks – the company that built the reservoir – the name of the mayor at the time, Joshua Appleyard and a credit for the reservoir’s designer, John Frederick Bateman.

It is believed it was commissioned for the reservoir, which was completed in 1858. But little is known about the plaque and local historians have been urged to get in contact if they can share any further information.

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