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The Elan Valley dams
  The 'Big House' of Nantgwyllt  

Like Cwm Elan in the next valley, Nantgwyllt was a mansion house owned by the 'gentry' of the district. The poet Nantgwyllt HouseShelley also lived in this house for a while in 1811, and wanted to buy it but failed.
This house too was in a very attractive location, close to the River Claerwen just before it flowed into the Elan River.
The position of this house before the flooding of the area is marked at the bottom of the the map on another page.

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For a long time after this area was covered by the waters of Caban-coch Reservoir, many people believed that the house was still standing under the water. It would be fascinating to think of a big mansion at the bottom of the lake with fish swimming from room to Remains of house, 1937room ! There was even a very popular novel published in 1932 called 'The House Beneath the Water' which was probably based on the story about Nantgwyllt.

In 1937 , when this photograph was taken, the water level in the reservoir had dropped by almost 17 metres (55 feet) below its highest level after a long dry spell. This meant that the site of the old house was no longer covered, and thousands of people came to look at the unusual sight. But it could then be seen that only the garden walls were still standing, and there were only a few stones left to mark the location of the famous house.

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