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Capel Celyn, A village under the water in North Wales

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 4 21

Welsh American History

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Llyn Celyn as part of Snowdonia National park

A tourist hot spot

Llyn Celyn is now situated right in the Snowdonia National Park. The reservoir makes a beautiful area to stop and gaze as a visitor to North Wales, but most tourists never know the history behind this Idyllic looking place. A bit of heritage died there, the last Welsh only community, but beauty over came, so maybe nature won in the end.

The reservoir feeds in to the River Tryweryn and then the River Dee. This is a great place to go White water rafting and kyaking, canoeing,camping, wild life spotting, and even some historical buildings still to walk around. Some may say that it has brought tourist industry to North Wales and that they should be grateful for that, but a fully functioning farm was also bringing in trade before it was flooded.I wonder, is this a watery grave or merely a new future for Capel Celyn?After all, nothing stays the same forever.

Mount Snowdon is the main reason that people come to the area as it is a world wide attraction, but I doubt anyone goes away and forgets the beauty of Llyn Celyn, I just hope they go home knowing the history of what lies under the water. 

Cofiwch Dryweryn means Remember Tryweryn. There is an unofficial memorial in the form of graffiti on a rock. See below.

Remember Tryweryn. A memorial to Capel Celyn.

Capel Celyn, North Wales

Now known as Tryweryn reservoir

The big reservoir called Llyn Celyn is hiding the old Welsh village that was Capel Celyn. The old village sits under the reservoir, that is part of the famous Snowdonia National Park.

Get Directions
Llyn Celyn, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd LL23, UK

Capel Celyn,, video of photographs of Capel Celyn.



Jan 30, 2012 5:41pm
fascinating history of how tCapel Celyn was flooded.
Jan 31, 2012 1:18am
Thank you kindly. I do not get a chance to go back to North Wales very often, but I will never look at Llyn Capel the same way again. The beauty hides devastation.
Jan 31, 2012 1:33am
I think the subtext here goes back to the days of Empire. I'm familair enough with your country's history to know much of this activity was motivated by bigotry. A town of 48 "true" Welsh would have effectively been a living musuem and should have been moved/preserved. Obviously, it's too late. Your period photos are fanstastic (dirt roads and all). A thumb.
Feb 1, 2012 1:03am
Thank you Vic. Yes, like most bigotry, as individuals quite a lot of people intermingle with each other and could not care less about colour, creed or nationality. Deeper it is very fresh that the English as a nation raped the Welsh of their identity and land at every opportunity. Plaid Cymru, the political party is probably the same as the supporters of Owain Glyndwr, the last person in history to physically fight for Wales.
I myself am married to an Englishman( much to the detriment of my Grandfather), and so my children are half and half.
It does hurt as a Welshman that my country has had its identity stripped over the years.
The bigotry carries on in comments from English such as " Welsh should be grateful, English bring money to the country", whilst they are the very ones that have helped close the Welsh industries such as wool mills, Slate quarries and farms down.
Feb 1, 2012 1:34am
Hey, look at it this way -- you still got Tom Jones!!
Feb 1, 2012 2:15am
Ack, keep him over there!!( laughing out loud).
Feb 1, 2012 2:47am
Cool story, but also a little sad. This made me think of a place close to where I used to live in Canada. It's called Frank Slide, and it's where a colossal chunk of rock slid off a mountain and buried the town at it's base. Walking on the rock is more than a little unsettling and the place has a definite eerie air to it.
Feb 1, 2012 3:48am
There is a story much more similar to Frank Slide than Capel Celyn. Aberfan in South Wales was a slurry collapse and 144 people were killed, 116 being children.
Feb 3, 2012 11:54pm
I remember that one -- the pics are hideous in terms of "how can this ever be cleaned up?"
Feb 4, 2012 3:22am
Heart rendering wasn't it? Thanks for checking this out again, I had to republish because of a correction I made.
Feb 22, 2012 7:42am
That's a weird place to build a reservoir for Liverpool. I mean, you've got the Dee, the Mersey and the entire Wirral peninsula in the way.
Feb 22, 2012 9:09am
Yeah it is Egdcltd, ( can I have your first name? lol), they have apologized for insensitivity but really, can you imagine if Germany told France it was going to drown an entire village for a reservoir for their own country? It would cause world war 3.
Feb 22, 2012 1:52pm
'Tis Adrian. I also find it an odd time to start picking on the Welsh. The previous century, certainly, but since then there's been the rise of Scottish and Irish identity, plus Welsh becoming an official language and the preservation of the Cornish and Manx languages.
Feb 22, 2012 2:29pm
Can understand why people outside the UK don't recognise Wales as a separate country sometimes. My English husband said to me after a couple of years. "Your English", I said " I AM NOT!I am WELSH!" he replied with "yeah but that is the same thing".If a man who knows how desperately I hold on to my roots can say that I can't really say much to others.
I suppose it is like one of those little big things. I have been in a room with scousers and Welshmen and they have been in heated debate about, " scousers invading North Wales", and the scouse lads replying " We create jobs and bring money in", it gets much worse. This conversation was held when I was 15 no more than 3 miles from where Capel Celyn is. That was 17 years ago, so you can see, I think animosity still holds strong.
I grew up in a strong welsh family that would make the English need a passport to get in to Wales. As I pointed out to my Taid, I am NOT going through all that rigmarole to get in to the country I was born in.
If you speak to a Welsh Nationalist, they will tell you how England bullied their way in to Wales and that we were free men 400 years ago.
In a multicultural society I see room to adapt and hold on to culture and language.
Feb 22, 2012 2:43pm
English is not the same as Welsh. Once it was considered to be, but not in a long time. In other countries there's still a tendency for people to use them interchangeably though. (Your comment reminded me of Gwen in Torchwood: Miracle Day).

I usually say I'm British (I know by my grandparents surnames I've got Irish, Scots and English blood at the very least) or, if pressed, Yorkshire. This does mean I'm quite willing to cheer on the English, Scottish, Welsh and (both) Irish teams in any tournament. Wouldn't like to need a passport to get to Wales, I spent some time there as a child, as my grandparents lived in the Wirral.
Mar 9, 2012 2:26pm
Sorry Adrian, did not see your comment til now. I always say I am Welsh because I feel the need to hold on to what is a small minority in the comparison of other races, also my heritage.
All you have to do to see the same is how the English rebel every time there is an influx of immigrants, they hate it, whether it be West Indians, Pakistanis or Polish. The Welsh never had a say about what happened to them, which is what I feel makes them cling desperately to what is left.
In the world wide community we live in day to day I do not see why it matters, whilst conflictingly my own heart does not want Wales to lose what it really is. Dinosaurs die though, so Wales will become something new in time, as everything else.
( Ooh look at me being all deep!),lol.
Apr 2, 2012 3:18pm
yeah, this was a terrible thing...great article reminding people of this :-) ...
Apr 3, 2012 6:38am
Thank you Rev, it is terrible when one group encroach on another's freedom.
Apr 23, 2012 2:16am
Very haunting and sad. I have some Welsh ancestors and these people are impossible to trace (can't find birth certificates and weird names that don't seem to exist)any ideas?
Apr 23, 2012 2:27am
Very haunting and sad. I have some Welsh ancestors, but I can't trace them back to Wales, as the death certificate simply says 'Wales'. Also have you ever heard of the name 'Mahomey' as a girls name?
Apr 28, 2012 7:28pm
No not really Etcetera. Mahomey doesn't sound significantly welsh to me, infact the name that comes closest that reminds me of that name is Myfanwy. There are a lot of names that only exist in Wales or are very rare. If I can help, give me a shout, will help where I can.
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  1. "Tryweryn." Ymgyrchu!. 13/01/2012 <Web >

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