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This thing exists in a forest in West Sussex. The paper called it a “Mystical Waterfall.”

I don’t know about mystical. It looks to me like somebody pulled the plug and we’re circling the ‘ole.

Southern Water called it a “bellmouth drain” and said it was for drawing excess water away from dams. Speculation further down the article was that it was to drive a water mill, several of which were nearby.

I wish they had film or other views; it’s hard to make out how it works. It looks like it’s open at the far end and draining down into a lower stream. Which would make sense if it was to drive something.

I’m sure we could get a sense of the age of it if we could see the construction up close. Looks like there’s a small arch on the far side.

Imagine having such a thing in the landscape and having no idea how it came to be there. Funny old country.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 28, 2022, 8:07 pm

Getting along well with my new toy. Still very much figuring out how it works.

Comment from Jon
Time: February 28, 2022, 9:11 pm

Just like the Italians forgetting about the Romans. I can’t recall exactly when archaeologists starting recovering the past in Italy, but I think it was as late as the 17 or 18th century.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 28, 2022, 9:27 pm

Kinda looks like the sort of thing they put in reservoirs to drain off water, rather than a sloped overflow spillway. Some, I think, drive turbines.

Circular spillways, Glory holes and other names.
Bing or Google Circular Spillways, DON”T Google Glory Holes.


Really neat – unless you got PTSD as a child reading “Descent into the Maelstrom” by Edgar Allen Poe.😜

Not saying that’s what this thing is, but it’s a spillway of some sort.

It’s not odd things “disappear” from local memory. As a kid we’d wander around areas that had been mills, where there was nothing left but concrete ramps and waterways in the middle of a woods, with a massive old steam boiler that no one around had a clue about, but had only been gone for 50 years or so.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: February 28, 2022, 9:36 pm

Ah – also called a Drop Inlet Spillway
Attached some helpful information for constructing your own 😒


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: February 28, 2022, 10:40 pm

This is a fine example of things I love about men. As a draftsman, I worked for a lot of engineers—most of whom I could have cheerfully strangled in their sleep, but I loved them anyway because they figured out how to do important things. How to build things, how to fix stuff, and how to use gravity to move water to where it could be used for power.

My favorite example, which is taped to the wall in my office. It makes me proud and makes me cry all at the same time.
Scroll down to second image.

P.S. I am equally proud of female engineers, but I only worked for one (Bell Telephone).

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 1, 2022, 12:54 pm

I’m curious where all the grime on everything in the photos came from , though I have a strong suspicion it has to do with shedding skin, body oils, and limited opportunities for taking a bath in space to the point where perhaps I really don’t want an answer.

But duck tape (duct tape)!
Which by the way boys, was created by…

A woman. 😁

Hail to Vesta Stoudt, creator of duct tape!
Hail to the Tabitha Babbit, inventor of the circular saw!

Women, neatest invention ever.

Ladies, take a bow, apart from the glaringly obvious, you’re the reason men aren’t still dressed in animal skins, sitting on logs around a fire, drinking something that resembles beer, telling stories about the time Errg tried to pat a tiger.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 1, 2022, 4:09 pm

@Durned…STILL? You haven’t been camping with my posse…except the stories lean towards Bigfoot cuz tigers are thin on the ground hereabouts.

In Northern California many of the dams/reserviours have “glory holes”…they rather haunting and quite beautiful at dusk when the water is silky black. Here’s a video from Lake Berryessa northwest of Napa.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 1, 2022, 4:30 pm

@Deborah…my first real job was as a draftsman with Bell. The guys in our section were cranky, but fun to work with. Several flew bombers or manned gun turrets, and had the best WWII stories.

I drew the North-South cable conduit plans for I5 in our county and still get a little frisson when I drive it.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 1, 2022, 6:22 pm

Oh, yes. I loved working with engineers. Particularly when they had to come sit in my cubicle and explain a thing so I could draw it for them.

Do you know, they only artwork I’ve ever done that I can reliably believe will live forever are drawings for the patent office?

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 1, 2022, 10:04 pm

@BJM I wonder if the proximity to the shoreline is the cause of the difference, and the flume, in the way the water enters the hole on the right side (when looking towards the dam from the reservoir side.

And yikes! See there’s my maelstrom nightmare coming back! Nothing to prevent a bozo (looks in mirror) from kayaking into the hole when the water level is high!

Comment from homer
Time: March 1, 2022, 10:08 pm

@Durned… DOGS are the neatest invention ever. Dogs are God’s apology for creating women.

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