Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Village of the Damned

This is fabulously strange and creepy. More underwater wreckage, this time of the lost village of Llanwddyn in wales, flooded by Liverpool Council in 1965. The recentness of the flooding makes the images far stranger and more disturbing for me, as if the inhabitants have only just turned off an episode of Z Cars before packing their bags and leaving. The preserved cemetery suggests perhaps that they didn't make it, or refused to go.

Nevertheless the images are eerily beautiful, reminiscent of Mariele Neudecker's vitrines in their mysterious vividness. Like Neudecker's miniature landscapes submerged in water they have an air of unreality about them suggestive of some macabre model built to frighten children. In this case though the images are of a real place.

The pictures are taken from the BBC Wales website (where there is also a video), found, fabulously enough, via the Springfield School in Sheffield who seem to be doing a project on flooding and drowned villages. Don't ask me how I came across the school's website. I think it has a link back to a post I did on Ladybower reservoir but I can't find it.


Blaize said...

Thanks for posting these. A vision of our coastal future maybe?

Dan Hicks said...

Hi -
I think these underwater images are of Llanwddyn, north Powys, flooded in 1888. This was a different event from the flooding of the village of Capel Celyn and the Tryweryn valley, near Bala, Gwynedd, (flooded 1965, for which Liverpool City Council apologized in 2005).

But to add a 20th-century layer to your story -- Llanwddyn re-emerged from the water, rather dramatically, during a drought in Sept 1933 - see the image at

Charles Holland said...

Thank you Dan, the image is really fabulous. Thanks for the insights too and apologies if I have got the names and places wrong. I took the information from the BBC website linked to. The level of preservation seems greater than in other reservoirs and certainly there's more village left than in the pic you link to. But I am guessing....

Dan Hicks said...

The confusion on the BBC site is, I think, because there were calls for an apology to be made for Llanwddyn at the same time as the apology for Tryweryn.

Thanks, Charles, for this always enjoyable blog!

Charles Holland said...


I would like to see images of Tryweryn....a (relatively) recently flooded village must be a truly bizarre and uncanny thing.

I wonder if the villages of flooded valleys tended to be knocked down prior to flooding. It's difficult to account for the lack of substantial remains otherwise.

goodeda1122 said...



Stu M. said...

I remember walking around the remains of Capel Celyn in the early 90's when there was quite a serious drought and the reservoir was almost empty. I remember the concrete-covered cemetary (still with bodies underneath) and the rubble piles which used to be homes. My most vivid memory was standing on the packhorse bridge in the middle of the 'village' with a slight trickle of water still running underneath it, even after all those years of flooding.

paul said...

Hi i live in oldham and near daisy nook in fsilsworth. And thier is a lake thier called crime lake whitch also has a underwater village just look on google earth and just type in crime lake.and thier is some photos as well