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Taf Fechan Reservoir

Merthyr Tydfil


The Taf Fechan gathering ground, an area of 8,351 acres, extends from the highest point of the Breconshire Beacons (Pen-y-fan, 2,907 ft. above sea level) in a southerly direction to the reservoir embankment at Pontsticill.


The rainfall on the catchment area averages 72.86 inches at the Neuadd Reservoirs and about five miles south, 58.72 inches at Taf Fechan Reservoir. The rainfall drains off the mountainside to the valley and is impounded in three reservoirs.


The first reservoir constructed for the supply of Merthyr Tydfil, was Pentwyn Reservoir (known locally as Dolygaer Lake) under an act obtained by the Merthyr Local Board of Health. in 1858.


The Pentwyn Reservoir was combined into the Taf Fechan reservoir which was completed in 1927.



<Click on the image to enlarge>

Constructing the Pentwyn Reservoir in 1858.

The Embankment of the Pentwyn Reservoir.


Before the Reservoir

This photograph taken by the Ironmaster Robert T. Crawshay in the 1870's shows

the area aside the Pontsticill Junction Railway Station prior to the reservoir

being built.


Showing the area to be impounded,

and the layout of the properties, some were soon to flooded by the Taff Fechan reservoir.


Looking towards the Dam of the Pentwyn Reservoir before the impounding of the Taff Fechan Reservoir, Pen-y-fan 2,907ft in the distance.

This photograph from the 1870s by Robert Thompson Crawshay shows the Pentwyn Inn on the left of the embankment and Dolygaer Farm on the extreme right.   This later photograph from the early 1920s shows middle left hand side the Taff Fechan Bridge, then the Pentwyn Inn, the reservoir embankment, and on the right Cae'r Farm  
Looking towards the Dam of the Pentwyn Reservoir before the impounding of the Taff Fechan Reservoir, Pen-y-fan 2,907ft in the distance.


Dolygaer Church. Now lying beneath the waters of the reservoir.

(postcard courtesy of the Leo Davies collection)


Dolygaer Farm,

The family are shown here, outside the farm building during the last years before the valley was flooded.

Bethlehem Congregational Chapel. Built 1828
    Farewell meeting September 14th 1925.  


The Construction of the Taff Fechan Reservoir.
Loco 'Merthyr' used on the construction of the reservoir.

Looking East, the embankment during construction

Looking West, the embankment before impounding.

These two photographs were taken during the construction of the Reservoir in the 1920's.
Constructing the Pipeline that took the water down to Merthyr.


Looking towards the Dam of the Pentwyn Reservoir after the impounding of the Taff Fechan Reservoir,

Dolygaer Station can be seen on the extreme right.

Taff Fechan Reservoir after impounding had began - 1927


Taff Fechan Reservoir. Work on the reservoir commenced in 1913, but ceased at the outbreak 

of World War 1, it was completed and opened in 1927.

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Pontsticill Reservoir - This shows the Taf Fechan Waterworks that filters 

the water  before it goes into the supply system - postcard courtesy of Viv Bayliss.

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Taff Fechan Waterworks - 1927.

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Taf Fechan Waterworks.

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Taf Fechan Waterworks

View from the dam over the waterworks

(Photograph Courtesy of Colin Markham)

Taff Fechan Waterworks, Tunnel and Falls.

The Reservoir.

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Taff Fechan Reservoir. - Postcard courtesy of The Leo Davies Collection.

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Taff Fechan Reservoir Frozen - Winter 1962/63

(Photograph courtesy of Robert Fraser)


Princess Margaret opens the new Filtration Plant, 1971

(Photographs by Cei Robins courtesy of David Robins)




Everytime there is a drought, the porch to the 'old chapel' can be seen.

This photograph from the early 1980's was sent in by Phil Evans.

These photographs show the drought of the early 1980s.      


Young Lisa and Stephen Evans are seen here near the Entrance arch to the old Bethlehem Chapel.

(Photographs courtesy of Raymond 'Blondie' Evans)





Taf Fechan Reservoir from the Baltic Quarry, in 2014

(Photograph courtesy of Richard Hooper)


Click Here for the Lower Neuadd Reservoir

Click Here for the Upper Neuadd Reservoir



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