Key Information









Race HQ



1st - 4th March 2018




Fewston and Swinsty Reservoirs




Details to follow


Affiliated £29 per day

Unaffiliated £31 per day

The Grim Four by Four 2018

Swinsty Reservoir

The capacity is about 866 million gallons, with a surface area of 63 hectares.

Fewston Reservoir

The capacity is about 770 million gallons.

The reservoirs were built by the Leeds Waterworks Company, and employed a labour force of around 300 men under the management of Robert Brooks, previously an assistant at the construction of Lindley Wood Reservoir. Work began in 1874 and was completed in 1879.

The overflow from Fewston  reservoir feeds directly into the adjoining Swinsty Reservoir. Formerly, this overflow was encircled by a metal walkway from which floodboards could be lowered, but this has since been removed.

Work on the construction of the reservoir began in 1871. "The Huts", as they were known locally, were constructed to house the workforce, in part using materials from a water mill dismantled in the valley. The bulk of the materials for the dam itself came to Starbeck by rail. From there they were, at first, transported to the site using a steam traction engine pulling wagons. However, by 1872 this practice was put to an end due to the damage being caused to the 'Turnpike road', now the A59, and from then on materials were transported by contractors.

At the site, a narrow gauge railway was constructed, and two locomotives purchased, the first arriving in 1873 and the second in 1875.

The impact of the construction work was considerable for local residents, in ways both positive and negative. In his diaries, local man John Dickinson mentions the waterworks band coming with their music on Christmas Day, a visit to a "Magic Lantern performance at The Huts" and a waterworks sports day on Swinsty Moor with several hundred in attendance. On the downside, he complains several times of "rough navvies" occupying the local inn at Timble, and expresses the hope they will soon be gone.

Swinsty Hall

On the banks of the reservoir stands Swinsty Hall, built in the 17th century. Local legend has it that the hall was built by a man named Robinson, who left nearby Fewston to seek his fortune in London. On arriving there, he found it in the grip of the great plague of 1603–4. Robinson took to looting the houses of the dead and amassed a great fortune with which he returned home, purchased the Swinsty estate, and built Swinsty Hall.

The truth appears more mundane – a family named Wood owned the Swinsty estates in the sixteenth century, and Francis Wood undertook to erect a new hall on the estate as part of a marriage contract. Unable to pay for it, he raised a loan from Henry Robinson, and when he got into further financial difficulties in 1590, Robinson foreclosed and took the hall and estates in lieu of the debt.


Any Runner completing all four days will receive a bespoke Grim Up North Running Four Day Challenge Hoody.

A medal will be awarded to all runners and one of our usual goody bags

Book your place by emailing using the link below  and payment details will be forwarded on.




As is the norm with running events there are no cancellations, refunds or transfers, however if in the event of cancellation of the event due to unforseen circumstances, snow, adverse weather or similar then we'll offer a free transfer to a re-arranged date or the following years event. Please see our "It's Grim up North Running" policy for more information.

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