The second location from my recent excursions is finally revealed.

Craig Goch

Craig Goch

Craig Goch

Craig Goch, the highest upstream of the series of dams in the Elan Valley, is often referred to as the ‘top dam’. It is located at a height of 1040 feet (317m) above sea level. As with all the dams, work started with the arrival of the railway line at the site. In the case of the top dam the line had the ¬†farthest to go and a rocky outcrop had to be blasted and dug through on the route to the site.**

Gareg Ddu

Gareg Ddu

Gareg Ddu

Garreg Ddu Dam in the lower Elan Valley serves a dual role. It is a low, completely submerged dam which plays a vital role in maintaining a constant supply of water to Birmingham. It also supports masonry pillars carrying the access roadway to the neighbouring valley of the River Claerwen.**



Pen-Y-Gareg Reservoir

Total capacity 1.320,000,000 gallons. Top area 124 acres. Top water level 945 feet above ordnance datum. Height of dam above river be 123 feet. Depth of foundations below river bed 17 feet. Length of weir 417 feet 6 inches. Thickness of dam at base 115 feet 4 inches. Estimated quantity of masonry 90,372 cubic yards.*

Caban Coch

Caban Coch

Caban Coch Reservoir

Total capacity 8,000,000,000 gallons. Top water level 822 feet above ordnance datum. Height of dam above river bed 122 feet. Length of the weir 566 feet. Thickness of dam at base 122 feet 6 inches. Estimated quantity of masonry 144,800 cubic yards.

Total area of watershed 45,562 acres.*



Claerwen Reservoir

This mass concrete dam, 240 feet maximum height from foundation to roadway level with facings of masonry and blue brick, was built between September 1946 and October 1952 and forms a reservoir over four miles long with a top water area of 650 acres at 1.210 feet above ordnance datum. The total weight of materials used was 700.00 tons including 43,800 tons of gritstone, 173,000 tons of pit sand, 65,000 tons of cement and 18,000 tons of masonry. *

*info from signboard next to the dam

** info from the Elan Valley website

18 Comments CherryPie on Sep 6th 2018

18 Responses to “Elan Valley Reservoirs”

  1. Lovely photos – they brought back some memories – we used to visit when I was a child but I haven’t been for years.

  2. ....peter says:

    a wonderful presentation of this reservoir Cherie… thank you for taking the time to share if with us….peter:)

    • CherryPie says:

      The Elan Valley is a fabulous location for photographs and the history of the dams is interesting too. Caban Coch is my favourite dam, it is immense and the towering size of it blew my breath away when I visited in my teens.

  3. Alan says:

    The very low water levels shows just how dry it has been in recent months.

    • CherryPie says:

      Yes these views of the reservoirs show the consequences of our hot and dry summer. I need to go back again after we have had a rainy period to capture the reservoirs when they are full and cascading.

  4. James Higham says:

    Not all that far from Shropshire I see.

  5. rusty duck says:

    Gosh, this brings back memories. My father was Welsh and grew up not so far from there. I remember many visits as a child. It hardly seems to have changed at all.

    • CherryPie says:

      It brought back childhood memories for me too. I didn’t quite get one of them right until after my visit.

      I need to dig out a photo from my mums photo collection and go back and go back and brave the wobbly path to get a more recent view of that memory :-)

  6. Ginnie says:

    Another reason, now, Cherry, for why I want to go to Wales one year!

  7. Astrid says:

    I looked at streetview and this id quite the lake. What wonderful architecture. From what I read in the comments and replies it is a very important reservoir too. Hopefully it starts raining soon (it does here now)

    • CherryPie says:

      The rain has started again, but it is going slow time.

      The architecture of the dams is amazing. The Claerwen dam, blows my mind. It did when I saw its immense towering structure as a child. I am still in awe of the structure now!

  8. The Yum List says:

    The imagination of architects and engineers in designing dams is mind blowing.

  9. shabana says:

    Absolutely Stunning shots dear friend!!!


    Brilliantly captured which filled my heart joy and serenity:)

    i wish i can visit there someday!

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