Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
in Victorian times
  Caban Coch dam and reservoir  

The remarkable series of dams and reservoirs in the Elan Valley near Rhayader were a fine example of the work of the highly skilled Victorian engineers.
The water-works project was started in 1893 to provide enough supplies of clean water to meet the needs of the rapidly growing industrial city of Birmingham, some 83 miles to the east.

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

The new series of artificial lakes made a huge difference to the local landscape, and soon after the scheme was completed in 1904 the area became a great attraction for visitors.
All the dams were designed to let surplus water spill over the top when the reservoirs were full. When this happened at the lowest of the dams, Caban Coch, the stone wall of the dam could not be seen at all, and it just looked like a spectacular waterfall.
Many picture postcards like this one were produced with attractive views of the new 'Lake District' created by the Victorians.

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