Belvoir Castle’s historic Knipton Reservoir saved for the nation

Belvoir Castle PHOTO: Supplied
Belvoir Castle PHOTO: Supplied
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An overlooked part of the Belvoir Estate has finally received special protection, safeguarding it for future generations.

Historic England has now extended the designation of the estate to include Knipton Reservoir in the boundary and description of Belvoir Castle on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

The move follows detailed research by landscape historian and writer Steffie Shields and Peterborough landscape architects LDA Design.

Leicestershire County Council has also recognised the site as one of special interest, adding it to the

county’s Historic Environment Record of archaeological remains and historic buildings.

Knipton Reservoir is situated in one of England’s most scenic parks, which has close links to landscape designers, including Capability Brown. It was designed to feed the 33-mile Grantham Canal, which was built in 1797 between Nottingham and Grantham to transport coal and bulk fertiliser.

The recent research revealed the reservoir was designed to be a striking feature with plantations to enhance its natural setting.

Steffie Shields said: “Knipton Reservoir is a significant part of England’s industrial heritage. Unusually, it was designed to provide flood protection and grow the local economy, at the same time providing a place of recreation and beauty in the Brownian picturesque manner so successfully that it attracted Royal visitors.”

Ian Houston of LDA Design added Knipton Reservoir was an early example of large-scale engineering infrastructure designed to “enhance rather than diminish” a wider landscape setting.