The Elan Valley
The Elan Valley is one of my favorite places to go in Wales. In 1893 the valley was dammed to form a series of reservoirs lakes held back by five dams known as the Elan valley Dams. Though much of the surrounding countryside has changed little (apart form wind turbines) the valleys would have been very different before 1890 supporting various community's. This tour will show some of the dams & reservoirs that are there now along some historic photos I have been able to find. As you go through the Blog you will come across various links I have added, these will tell you some of the history behind the place.
This is the elan winding into the Craig-goch, you can see the water level is low from the dark sides showing
This view looks up the Afon Elan to where it rises in the distance. A mountain road runs nearby which will take you to Aberystwyth. Its well worth a dive along.
and this is the Afon Elan looking very tranquil
No not the bridge you drive over now though you can walk over it. This was the old road you came across before the made a new steel bridge which I am stood on to take the heavy traffic of today. The bridge your looking at is covered in cracks and looks worse then when I first saw it.
Driving along the road following the Elan you will see this view of the Craig-Goch dam come into sight
Look round and you get this view back to where I took the first photos
This is a closer shot of the Dam
The Dam close up, most times I've been here the water is flowing over the top, when I took this photo I think it was about 3 meters lower than usual
You can see the level of the water on the left and what it looks like when flowing over the top, the photo was taken in 2008
This is another photo taken in 2008 showing the reservoir behind the dam
Driving round the road will bring you to the next dam though I must admit I missed out the chance of getting some photos of the reservoir on the way
This one is called the Pen Y Garrag this one is 161 Meters (528ft) long and 37.2 Meters (123ft) high
The tower on the dam. You can go inside the dam and look out of the windows you see though you do need permission as the gate is locked.
Same dam in full flow as seen in 2008
In case you wondered this is a view from the dam of the reservoir behind
Careg-Ddu. Ok so it looks like a viaduct and as you can see the water is way down.
But check out this photo when they were building the dam
This is the area behind today
Nant- Gwyllit church, the one in the distance is the Nantgwyllt House in which Shelley lived for a time
The photo on the left was taken in 2003 by Colin Price and shows the lower dam quite clearly, you can see more of his photos on Geograph
This is the Claerwen Dam it's
56 meters (144ft) high by
355 meters (1167ft)long
This shot is from the access road bridge to the farm at the base
This is what the dam looks like when its spilling over the top back in 2008
The Visitor center is over to the right
This is what it looks like going full bore over the top. I took these a few years ago from the top
Thats my tour of the Elan valley I hope you enjoyed it. The historic photos came from the Powys Digital History Project which is well worth a look round others from Geograph & Flickr. If your in Wales near the place it is worth the visit. There are also various walking trails you can go on as well.