EVERYTHING in nature in temporary.

While some things last longer than others, eventually everything disappears and begins anew.

It is the same with communities.

Powys was once home to a host of communities which no longer exist.

These ghost towns were either replaced in their entirety or, in some cases, abandoned and all but forgotten.


Lake Vyrnwy was the first the first reservoir built in Wales by an English corporation.

In 1877 it was decided the growing population of Liverpool needed more water and the Vyrnwy valley were the village of Llanwddyn stood was selected.

A petition expressing opposition was submitted to no avail and 10 farms and the village of Llanwddyn were drowned.

The village consisted of a church and two chapels, three pubs, two shops, a post office and 37 houses.

The modern day incarnation became home to residents of the original village who were moved.

The aqueduct was completed and water began to flow to Liverpool on July, 14 1892.

County Times: Llanwddyn. Picture: Powys Digital History.

Llanwddyn. Picture: Powys Digital History.


Elan Valley

BIRMINGHAM'S dire need for water had seen the valley of the River Elan a few miles west of Rhayader drowned.

Two large houses, a small church, a Baptist chapel, and 18 cottages and farmhouses were submerged from the 1890s until the first continuous flow of water through the aqueduct took place on July 28, 1904, one week after the official opening of the system by King Edward VII.

The famous poet Percy Shelley holidayed in the Elan and Claerwen valleys in 1811 and 1812.

As the new dams and reservoirs were being built in such a remote location, it was necessary to construct a temporary "navvies village" to house the large number of workmen employed on the project and, in many cases, their wives and children as well.

The new village was purposely sited on the opposite side of the river to the road from Rhayader, so that access to the village could be strictly controlled. No outsiders were allowed to enter the village without permission.

Over 50,000 men were employed on the construction sites over the 13 years of the waterworks scheme.

By March 1895 the population of the village had reached around 1,000, growing to more than 1,500 some three years later.

County Times: Elan Village Chapel. Picture: Wiki Commons.

Elan Village Chapel. Picture: Wiki Commons.

County Times:

Mynydd Epynt

FOLLOWING the outbreak of World War II extra land and facilities were needed for training purposes - in particular artillery practice.

Mynydd Epynt and Mynydd Bwlch-y-groes were were purchased on June, 30 1940.

Cilieni Primary School, several farmsteads, Babell Chapel and the Drovers Arms ensured it had been a vibrant community.

However all were forced to leave their homes.

The graveyard remains but the chapel has fallen into ruin and only the foundations are still there.

County Times: Mynydd Epynt. Picture: Geograph.

Mynydd Epynt. Picture: Geograph.


Dylife thrived on the back of a mining boom at the end of the 19th century.

Hundreds of people settled in the Cambrian Mountains, one mile west of the road between Llanidloes and Llanbrynmair.

The nearby lead mines intermittently sustained mining communities from Roman times until the early 20th century.

During the late 19th century, as mining declined after the 1860s so did Dylife's population.

From the 1850s, Dylife became a more permanent, settled community with a church, chapels and a school; services were provided by three inns, one of which also had a grocery and butchery, a smithy and a post office.

County Times: Churchyard and demolished church in Dylife. Picture by Trevor Harris/Geograph.

The Dylife graveyard. Picture: Geograph.

There were also visiting traders and a monthly fair.

About 300 workers – men, women and children – were employed at the mines in the 1850s. By 1864 the population was about 1000.[3]

After 1864, as the mines declined, so did the population, moving to more secure work elsewhere.

Some stayed on after the final closure in 1901 but the school closed in 1925 and the last baptism was celebrated at the church in 1926 – it was demolished in 1962.

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