Powys Digital History Project

The Elan Valley dams
The submerged dam

The location of
the Elan Valley dams
and reservoirs
is shown on the
sketch map.   
Dam and viaduct
The Careg-Ddu dam in the lower Elan Valley serves a dual role. It is a low, completely submerged dam which plays a vitial role in maintainingViaduct construction,1901 a constant supply of water to Birmingham. It also supports masonry pillars carrying the access roadway to the neighbouring valley of the River Claerwen. The image on the right is from a glass slide of 1901 which, though of poor quality, shows the way in which dam and viaduct are combined in a single structure.
The original road leading to this valley was to be lost, along with many original buildings, with the completion of the Caban Coch dam and the subsequent flooding of the two valleys.
Site of
Careg-Ddu dam
looking upstream
towards the
dam site
Dam site during early stagesThe lower Elan Valley at the early stages of construction of the Careg-Ddu dam and viaduct.(left)
Cwm Elan house is just visible in the trees at centre left. Trackbeds of the railway lines used for carrying materials can be seen at different levels.
Photographs by
kind permission of
Radnorshire Museum,
Llandrindod Wells
The view above of the lower Elan Valley before the creatiCompleted viaduct,c1904on of the new Caban Coch reservoir is matched closely by the picture (right) of the same scene after the completion of the new dam and viaduct. During the later stages of the dams scheme the viaduct temporarily carried a railway track.

The new Baptist church built by Birmingham Corporation is in the foreground in the photograph above. This was to make good the loss of the original church of Nantgwyllt which lay lower down the valley towards Caban Coch. The famous diva of the day, Madam Patti of Craig-y-Nos, was to sing at the opening of the new church.
The site of the original Bethania Baptist chapel lay very close to the viaduct on the nearside of the submerged dam. This was to be replaced by a new chapel built near the permanent stone-built Elan Village of today.

There are 2 pages on the Careg-Ddu dam.

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