Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
         
Rhayader
in Victorian times
 
  The drowned valleys  
 

This is another attractive picture postcard issued in the early 1900s of the new lakes created by the huge Victorian waterworks project in the Elan Valley near Rhayader.
This was a construction scheme that improved the landscape by producing very attractive stretches of water between the wooded hills of the district.

For more about the remarkable Victorian dam-building project in the Elan Valley see the special section of our website or click here.
Careg Ddu
Elan Valley
early 1900s
 

The scene here is of Careg-Ddu reservoir, and the submerged dam which carries a roadway above it to link the two sides of the valley.
The Elan Valley pages on the construction of the dams have more about this 'hidden' dam and the lost buildings which once stood on the floor of the two river valleys.
The Rivers Elan and Claerwen originally joined here, and the mansion of Cwm Elan stood below the woods on the far shore of the lake on the left.
The two buildings visible are the Foel Tower with the domed roof on the far side of the bridge, and the Victorian replacement for the old church of Nantgwyllt, which is at the bottom left of this picture.

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The building of the lakes and dames left the lower slopes around the edges of the reservoirs looking rather bare. The surrounding area soon began to look green again with new growth, and over the years the reservoirs began to look like natural lakes.
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