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Llinbrianne Dam
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To understand why another dam was built in Wales, you have to realize that with an expanding population there is an ever ending need for an increasing amount of water; well that's what "they" say was the reason why five beautiful but remote valleys were flooded on the south west side of the Cambrian mountains.

Situated on the eastern edge of the county of Carmarthenshire in west Wales is the ancient town of Llandovery with approximately 1,700 inhabitants. With its medieval castle and some old cobbled streets it is a warm friendly place, who's inhabitants include a few who once worked on the building of Llynbrianne Dam and chose to settle there on its completion.

Now and again these old construction workers gather in a local hostelry and recall the hurly burly days of the dam's construction. Old locals too, can recall those times, for it was for them a most unusual experience. Hundreds of construction workers either lodged in the town or traveled through it night and day for the two years it took to complete the construction. Many were asked "where are you working", the reply was always the same "up at the dam". Why up at the dam!, well the building of it was of concern to the local residents for it was constructed ten miles upstream on the head waters of the river Tywi, upon which the town of Llandovery sits and many asked the question "what if it should burst" ?.

The Quarry The Dam filling Spillway: Top half Bottom Spillway The Dam today
1 2 3 4 5

Photograph One is of the old rock quarry who's overburden was cleared, thus exposing the rock ready to be used in the construction of the dam. Here was situated the main quarry. Note the vertical marks in face, these were caused by drills boring holes so that they could be used to plant explosives for blasting. Also note: the little white dot on right hand side, it was safety cabin for the explosives experts. Some safety.

Photograph Two is one of the reservoir filling. The old roadway situated on the right of the picture was used by 100 ton Euclid dump trucks to deliver rock from the quarry to the rock face of dam. The roadway has disappeared from sight now, covered by millions of gallons of water.

Photograph Three is of the upper half of the spillway, one can actually walk across the top and watch the water flow down

Photograph Four is of the lower half of the spillway and was taken as the valves were first opened and the plume of water gushed in the air. The plume actually reached over hundred feet.

Photograph Five is from my friends at Carron Promotions and was taken many years later showing the locality as it is today. Gone are the scars that bared testimony to the heavy plant that was used to build and complete this engineering feat. Today one can drive around almost the whole of the 5 valleys on a modern roadway. A picturesque view thanks to the best engineer of all ............... Nature

The dam, built by Wimpey Construction was the largest of its type in western Europe at the time and was constructed in such a way that the mountain bears the majority of the pressure of the millions of gallons of water; which eventually flooded the five valleys. The purpose of such a huge construction scheme in such a wild and beautiful place, was to hold a volume of water big enough to maintain a constant level in the river Tywi, which would then allow the city of Swansea, by means of lower river extraction a greater water supply.

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