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Lake Vyrnwy, Llanwddyn

4.8
#2 of 11 in Nature in Powys
Lake Vyrnwy is a reservoir in Powys, Wales, built in the 1880s to supply Liverpool with fresh water. It flooded the head of the Vyrnwy valley and submerged the small village of Llanwddyn. The Lake Vyrnwy Nature Reserve and Estate that surrounds the lake is jointly managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Severn Trent Water is a popular destination for ornithologists, cyclists and hikers. The reserve is designated as a national nature reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, and a Special Area of Conservation.
Dr George Deacon (1843–1909) began the design of the Vyrnwy Dam in 1879 at the age of 36. In 1890, following Vyrnwy, he founded an engineering practice in London which subsequently became Sir Alexander Binnie Son & Deacon, then Mr Binnie and Partners. Its present-day successor is Black & Veatch.
Dr Deacon was instructed to prepare the parliamentary plans for the scheme in 1879. The dam construction started in 1881 and was completed in 1888. It was the first large stone-built dam in the United Kingdom, and is built partly out of great blocks of Welsh slate. When built it cost £620,000,. The dam is 146ft high from the bottom of the valley, and 120ft thick at the base; it is 1165ft long and has a road bridge running along the top. It is decorated with over 25 arches and two small towers (each with four corner turrets) rising 14ft above the road surface.
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Lake Vyrnwy Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
480 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Great motorcycle roads north of the lake heading for Bala, very scenic. A must for motorcycle tour, also great place to stop for refreshments.  more »
  • Visited on a whim after having seen the roadsigns, and I'm so pleased we did. The views were amazing - we weren't expecting such views! We particularly enjoyed the bird hide.  more »
Google
  • Favourite place to visit, come back year after year! So much to do from kayaking to bike riding and there’s so much to explore. Great area to take children and the family.
  • Perfect place for a good long walk or a decent bike ride with plenty of lovely spots to stop off and admire the views. Beautiful day out!
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