Bridge lost more than 50 years ago in reservoir resurfaces after UK drought

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Sizzling temperatures and a lack of rain have revealed an ancient bridge at a reservoir in Yorkshire.

The old packhorse bridge was uncovered at Baitings Reservoir, near Ripponden in West Yorkshire as Britain baked in extreme heat, with temperatures reaching above 40C in some areas of the country.

One woman was pictured walking across the bridge, which is only revealed during periods of very hot weather and drought conditions, reports the Manchester Evening News.

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It comes after the UK saw a new record temperatures of 40.3C in Coningsby, eastern England on Tuesday (July 19), beating the previous high of 38.7C set in 2019.

Even though the temperatures have dropped and the region has had some rainfall in recent days, water levels at the reservoir are still low —as with many others across the UK.

Built in 1956, Baitings Reservoir is a large water supply reservoir operated by Yorkshire Water. It lies in the valley of the River Ryburn and is one of two reservoirs built to supply the city of Wakefield in Yorkshire.

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During a previous dry spell in 1989, the body of a man was found at the bottom of the reservoir when the water level was 40 feet shallower than normal.

Laurence Winstanley, 23, had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and his body had been mutilated and burned before being weighted down with a pick axe and sunk.

Winstanley had disappeared a year before, on October 2, 1988. The killing, which was featured on BBC's Crimewatch at the time, remains unsolved.


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