Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
The Elan Valley dams
  The lost valley of Nantgwyllt  

The huge area of hills and valleys taken over by BirminghamPostcard of Nantgwyllt church City Council for their water supply was very thinly populated, but many lives were changed by the project.
A church, a chapel, a schoolhouse, and 18 cottages and farmhouses were lost because of the plans to flood the Elan and Claerwen valleys.
The little community of Nantgwyllt was at the bottom of the flooded valley near the meeting of the Rivers Elan and Claerwen.

Link to map
Part of 1905 mapThe site of the lost Nantgwyllt church, seen above on an old postcard, is now at the bottom of Caban-coch reservoir. The famous poet Shelley visited this church in 1811, when he was staying nearby. The church was at the spot marked 1 on this section of a 1905 map. Although the valley was flooded by 1905, the map shows the construction stage of the scheme.
There is a photograph of the lost village school at Nantgwyllt on another of these pages.
Click here

The old schoolhouse was at No 2 on the map, and No 3 marks the site of the big mansion of Nantgwyllt. This was on the bank of the River Claerwen, just below the point where it flowed into the Elan. You will find more about this famous house on another page.

Almost all of the area shown on this section of the map, apart from the high ground at the top and bottom corners, is now deep below the waters of the Caban-coch reservoir. There is more about the lost valleys on the next page...

Lost beneath the Victorian lakes...


Link to sources
Back to top
Go to Rhayader menu