Powys Digital History Project

Rhayader and the Elan Valley
An uncommon flood, 1784

  Elan Bridge in a ruinous condition
The early records of the Radnorshire Quarter Sessions include many orders, bills and other routine documents connected with the upkeep of roads and bridges in the county.
One of the tasks of the Chief Constable of a parish was to submit a 'Presentment' at each sitting of the Sessions, and if repairs to the highway were needed an order would be issued for the work to be done at the expense of the parishioners.
The example shown below concerns storm damage in 1784 to a bridge over the River Elan near Rhayader, caused by "an uncommon flood". It is likely that the site of this particular bridge lies today under the waters of the Elan Valley lakes.

Quarter Sessions,
Midsummer 1784

County Archives

Quarter Sessions document 
Other examples of
Quarter Sessions papers
can be seen on our
Crime & Punishment
Care of the Poor
The above document, from the Session Rolls of the Radnorshire Quarter Sessions of 1784, reads as follows:
"July the 14th 1784
To the Gentlemen of the Grand Jury of the General Quarter Sessions held this day at the Town Hall in Presteigne in the County of Radnor.
This is to inform you that the Bridge, across the River Elan, that leads from the Town of Rayader to Cardiganshire, is in a ruinous condition, occasioned by an uncommon flood that happened last week in a Thunder Storm which has done a great deal of damage in that neighbourhood.
by me
David Evans
Chief Constable in the upper division of hundred of Rayader".
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