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The Elan Valley dams
 
  Pen-y-garreg, the 'middle dam'  
 

The dam at Pen-y-garreg seems like the 'middle dam' of the four dams in the Elan Valley. You can't usually have a middle one out of four, but the 'submerged dam' of Careg-ddu normally has surface Pen-y-garreg dam in 2000water at the same level on either side, so it just looks like a bridge !

Work started on this dam in April 1895, when the new railway line was able to deliver materials this far up the valley.
The picture below shows the dam when it was nearly finished. The track along the wall of the dam carried railway wagons and even huge steam driven cranes ! There is another view of this dam under construction on another page.

Pen-y-garreg dam
in full flow in April,
2000.
  Dam under construction,1903 This is from a souvenir
postcard sold in 1903 of
Pen-y-garreg dam.
Cards like this were made
from black and white
photographs which were
coloured by hand.
 

The row of openings you can see near the top of the dam wall are 'windows' to a tunnel which is used to get to the valve tower in the middle. You can see this tower in the top picture.
When the reservoir is full the water pours over the top past these windows, and it is like looking out from inside a waterfall !

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