Seathwaite Dam and the Newfield riots
In order to create a source of drinking water for Barrow in Furness, the existing tarn was considerably enlarged with a dam in 1904. The dam had repairs and reconstruction in 2010 and 2018
The dam is almost 400 yards (366 m) long the resulting depth of the tarn being around 80 feet (24 m). Water is not abstracted directly from the tarn, but flows some distance downriver to an off-take weir.
Extracts taken from the Dalton News July 30th 1904
The riot at Seathwaite took place on Monday afternoon July 25th 1904 and resulted in the death of a man named Owen Kavanagh.
The building of the dam at Seathwaite tarn was for the Barrow Waterworks and the contractors were Messrs Kennedy and Company of Glasgow. In addition to the genuine navvy who goes about from place to place working on such jobs, there are always a lot of men who are really hangers-on.
It appears that a man whom the landlord thought had had enough to drink was asked to leave and a row commenced. The crowd became ugly and threatening. Information shows that the affair was a drunken melee on the part of a dozen hangers on hailing from Millom. Windows were smashed at the Hotel, Church, the vicarage and the school; large stones being pitched through windows on the side next to the highway.
The landlord, his wife and daughter and other occupants were in fear of their lives. A messenger was sent to Broughton for assistance but that was 10 good miles and the landlord in order to defend his life, his hearth and his ho
me took down his gun. In self defence the Landlord Mr Dawson, John Greenhow his barman and Henry Knox Todd fired at the assailants and three were wounded. These men were named Foy, Kinsella and Kavanagh all hailing from Millom. The man Kavanagh died at noon on Tuesday.
Extracts taken from the Dalton News Aug 13th 1904
After due deliberations, the charges against the landlord Mr Dawson, John Greenhow and Henry Todd were dropped and the men discharged.