Powys Digital History Project

The Elan Valley dams
Nantgwyllt House


Romantically situated
The large manor house of Nantgwyllt, one of two historic houses lost to the Elan dams scheme, was in the lower valley of the River Claerwen, close to its meeting point with the Elan River. Like
Cwm Elan, the other large house in the next valley, it was linked with the poet Shelley who was desperate to secure it in 1812 as a home in which to settle with his new young wife Harriet.

Nantgwyllt had been for many generations the family seat of the ancient family of Lewis Lloyd. It was recorded that one of the most striking features of the interior of the house was a very broad and imposing staircase made of old oak.

Nantgwyllt House
in 1889

County Archives

Nantgwyllt House,1889The house (left) was described in 1894 as being
"romantically situated on a projecting spur in the midst of magnificent fir trees, backed by wooded slopes of oak, spruce and larch, interspersed with towering groups of Scotch fir.
A lawn in front sloped down to the river, affording a fine view down the broad vale to the eastward."
The location of
the Elan Valley dams
and reservoirs
is shown on the
sketch map.  

Today this broad vale to the east lies beneath the large expanse of Caban Coch reservoir, which fills the lower valleys of the two rivers and which covers the site of Nantgwyllt House.

A touring guide published in 1892 noted that "Nantgwyllt mansion is on the borders of the Claerwen, which is here, perhaps, even more beautiful than the Elan. On the undulating lawn between the house and the stream some fine larches are noteworthy."
The stream referred to in this extract ran past the western side of the house and down into the River Claerwen below. Today the road which leads up the valley to the Claerwen dam of 1952 crosses the Nantgwyllt stream over a small bridge, which serves as a reminder to visitors of the location of the lost house beneath the waters.

Home page