In the 1960's when it became clear that Ipswich’s water supply would not be able to sustain future demand, a site was sought in order to be able to build a reservoir that could cater for future needs.
The valley that was flooded had been mostly farmland, but also included Alton water mill and Alton Hall. Alton water mill was dismantled and reconstructed at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket before construction commenced. However, Alton Hall was submerged.
The reservoir divided the village into two segments, and Lemons Hill bridge links the two segments together.
The project and filling it with water took 13 years to complete and was officially opened by the Princess Royal on July 10, 1987.
Alton Water reservoir sits in 400 acres of countryside and is a popular location for walkers, cyclists, wildlife spotting and family picnics. The reservoir also hosts water sports and fishing. There's also a visitors centre and a cafe.