Powys Digital History Project

The Elan Valley dams
"The special charm of the scene"

  A house to fit the setting
The house of Cwm Elan stood on the right bank of the River Elan, with a neat lawn sloping down to the rivers edge. In his book "Lost Houses of Wales" , Thomas Lloyd described the house as being "of no great pretension, but its upstanding, Alpine appearance was well contrived to fit its setting."

Cwm Elan mansion
as drawn by
Eustace Tickell
in 1893

County Archives

Cwm Elan by Tickell,1893 The setting of the mansion, seen here as sketched by Eustace Tickell, was beautifully described by Jonathan Williams in his "History of Radnorshire":
"The Elan descends through a narrow vale between mountains on whose sides mingled alder, oak, birch and mountain ash. The special charm of the scene lay in the union of wild loveliness with the grace and ornament of human culture. Above rose precipices and barren reaches of the hills, and here in their midst lay meadow and lawn, cornfield and cloverland, clear cut pathways and the abode of man."
  Cwm Elan at water's edge,1904The interesting photograph shown here was taken in July 1904, shortly before the demolition of Cwm Elan mansion.
The rising waters in Careg-ddu reservoir were soon to submerge the site of the house in which Shelley had stayed some 93 years earlier.
  This is the second page on Cwm Elan house. 
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