Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
The Elan Valley dams
  The Victorian dam builders  

The leaders of the city of Birmingham did a huge amount to James Mansergh improve the health and living conditions of the people living there by making it possible for the water works scheme to be carried out.
But the design and construction of the dams and reservoirs of the Elan Valley was mainly due to a great Victorian engineer called James Mansergh, shown in this photograph.

The Victorian age was a good time to be a successful engineer, because there was an enormous demand for new railways, roads, waterworks and many other public projects.


The chief engineer on the site in charge of building the dams and the other works George Yourdidesigned by James Mansergh was a remarkable man called George Yourdi. He was a very important man indeed during the years of the enormous construction scheme.
He took charge of the operation in 1893, and the work was to last for 13 years ! The new water supply started to flow to Birmingham in 1904, when the King officially opened the dams, but more finishing work on roads and buildings went on until 1906.

George Yourdi was in charge of a team of skilled engineers and the thousands of workers who came and went over these years. He made sure that all the building work was carried out to the best possible standard, and using the best materials. That is why the scheme looks as impressive nowadays as it did when it was opened almost a hundred years ago.

I'm in charge !

Back to Elan Valley dams menu


Link to sources
Back to top
Go to Rhayader menu