Coffee and cake

A History of Bewl Water


It was in 1946 that the idea for a reservoir which would provide the local Medway town was created.

It wasn’t until 1973 following the Queens permission, that work began on the Bewl Water drinking water project.


The decision was made to use the Bewl Valley to ensure minimal disruption, as it would not affect any major roads or rail lines and there were very few people living in the immediate area at the time.

It was also the perfect location due to the two main materials required to build the dam, clay and sandstone, were locally available, which would save on the cost of importing.


It was recognised that with the growing population in the south East, the traditional underground supplies would not last forever. Instead, harnessing and storing surface water would be an invaluable investment.


The project was completed in 1975. When full, Bewl Water reservoir can hold up to 31 million litres of water, equivalent to almost 1 gallon of water for every man, woman and child in the world.

Today at Bewl Water

Today Bewl Water can be enjoyed in a variety of ways including land and water activities, along with a café and a bistro, both overlooking the panoramic views of the reservoir.

Find out more about Bewl Water’s activities here!