Elan Valley Clearance, The: The Fate of the People and Places Flooded by the 1892 Elan Valley Reservoir Scheme


David Lewis Brown


This meticulously researched book … gives life and humanity to the bare statistics. … The book is a must for anyone interested in the history of the Elan Valley, but with bright, clear layout and accessible text accompanied by an astonishing selection of archived maps and photographs, it deserves a far wider audience. – The Planet

The Elan Valley dams have stood for more than a century, but what happened to the 298 men, women and children who lived there before the valleys were flooded?

Most were shepherds and farmers, living in a little-known and inaccessible part of Mid Wales. But then, in the 1890s, the two valleys were identified as a water source for the rapidly-expanding city of Birmingham, some 70 miles to the east. In far-off council chambers and the Houses of Parliament the fate of the valleys was sealed.

The 1892 Water Act was passed, over 45,000 acres of land was acquired and the process of clearing the valleys began.

With five maps and more than 100 images (including previously unseen Victorian survey plans and contemporary photographs) this book describes the valleys as they were, the political machinations, the building of the dams, and traces for the first time what became of the people and places of the Elan and Claerwen valleys.

David Lewis Brown has known, and been fascinated by, the Elan Valley since childhood. His ancestry is deeply rooted in the area, and a number of his relatives worked on the dams. This book is the result of years of careful research into the Elan Valley Scheme and the people it affected.

Paperback with flaps | 224 pages | 242 x 171 mm
101 colour illustrations
ISBN 978-1-910839-36-2


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