Elan Valley Dams

Postcards from Mid-Wales

The longest river in the UK is the Severn. It springs from the Cambrian mountains, and runs in a wide arc through Shropshire, to mouth into the sea at Bristol. The Elan is one of the tributaries, and here the Victorian engineers have built a series of dams to provide water for Birmingham. The catchment area for the dams are preserved from development, and is quite beautful, but in a different way than the rest of the Welsh countryside.

These pictures are from postcards. For more information, see the Elan Valley Estate's website

This is the Craig Goch dam, the first one I saw, on the road from Devil's Bridge to Rhaeder.
Craig Goch Dam

Pen-y-Garreg Dam

The Garreg Ddu dam looks like a multi-arch bridge rather than a dam, but this is only because there is so much water - when there is a lot of water the dam wall is drowned. The tower in the background (with the green roof) is the outlet for the water. The water level in the picture is that of the Caban Goch dam, further downstream, of which I do not have a picture. When the water levels falls, water is let out of the two dams higher in the valley.
Garreg Ddu Dam

This is the Claerwen dam, which I have not seen. It was built during the 1950's, with modern techniques but in a style to fit in with the older dams.
Claerwen Dam