Hidden hydros project recieves Heritage Lottery Funding

The Hidden hydro at Dyffryn Mymbyr. one example of the hundreds of redundant hydros out there. Wonder if we can reuse the site?


My past-time seems to have become a project. I have had an interest for a while in old mostly pre-war hydros which have stopped generating. there are hundreds of these in N Wales where I live and I have spent a little time tracking the odd one down. They are stunning pieces of industrial and social history. One aspect i like is the fact that rural areas of Wales and the Lake District these where innovators and cutting edge in terms of energy development. From the initial work I think there are around 400 of these little hydro treasure houses around N Wales. The funding kindly given by the Heritage Lottery Fund under the ‘all our stories’ heading will help quite a bit. The project has already attracted 15 volunteer photographers including individuals from camera clubs across N Wales. The end result will be a large exhibition in 12 months time and also record whats left of these renewable energy sites. On a personal note I hope one or two of them can come back to life. We are also developing an online gallery of all the sites as well as a new blog to track the work as it develops. More on this later!

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5 Responses to Hidden hydros project recieves Heritage Lottery Funding

  1. Pingback: Hidden hydros project recieves Heritage Lottery Funding | Hunting hidden hydros

  2. Robin Curtis says:

    info received from John Cantor……

    When I was at CAT in 1980, Martin Ashby was writing a book on hydro turbines in the Dyfi valley. He researched all the village turbines of which there were many. Mains electricity did not get to many Welsh villages till 1950’s! There was a disused turbine in my last village (Llanwrin). I did some back-of-envelope calcs, and seemed that I could have safely got 200w continuous, which was hardly cost-effective to build, but would have almost matched our frugal electricity consumption at the time. However- we moved.

    • Keith Jones says:

      thanks for this. Do you know what happened to the book proposal for the Tal y bont area? also do you have a grid ref for the Llanwrin hydro so that i can log it. thanks for this lot and if you can think of others let me know.

      • Robin Curtis says:

        Keith – No point in me getting in the way here – I am copying John in – he can come back to you directly.

        Alan Robinson also let me know that: “…….we have a disused turbine in Newcastle Emlyn, which myself and some friends from the Mid Teifi Transition group are trying to get access to. Someone has just started to develop the site again.”

        Best regards


  3. John Cantor says:

    I was replying in the wrong place. I’m here now.

    Martins book refers to the Llanwrin hydro along with all in the Dyfi Vally I think. I see the book for sale at a bookshop around the corner. Dyfi Valley Books Machynlleth. – £4. Martin has a bookshop himself in Aberystwyth. http://www.ystwythbooks.co.uk . He might have a copy!
    The old Llanwrin turbine is (was) a pelton considerably smaller than your one pictures. Its at the farm in the village.
    I also stumbled across another small Pelton not far from Cemmaes. A previous occupant used it to drive a lathe. The owners are quite approachable.

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