And Still The Bell Tolls

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Llyn Celyn is a large reservoir constructed between 1960 and 1965 in the Tryweryn valley in North Wales.

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It is 2½ miles long by 1 mile wide, and has a maximum depth of 43 meters [140 feet].  It can hold 71,200 mega litres of water.

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The reservoir is contained behind a rock gravity dam.

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At the far end it passes between the mountains of Arenig Fawr and Arenig Fach, in Southern Snowdonia.

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Construction of the reservoir involved flooding the village of Capel Celyn and adjacent farmland.  When the valley was flooded in 1965, the village and its buildings, including the post office, the school, and a chapel with cemetery, were all lost. Twelve houses and farms were submerged, and 48 people of the 67 who lived in the valley lost their homes.  In all some 800 acres of land were submerged.

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Many of the stones from the original chapel were re-used in the construction of the Tryweryn Memorial Chapel, at the Bala end of Llyn Celyn.  

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Families who had relatives buried in the cemetery were given the option of moving them to another cemetery. Consequently, eight bodies were disinterred and the remainder left. The removed headstones are located near the memorial chapel.IMG_2601

People say that in times gone by, when the water level fell very low, you could walk over the little bridge leading to the village.

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But nature has a way of renewing herself and, fifty years on, the tranquil beauty of this area is enchanting and strangely haunting. And when I need to find myself, you will find me here in this oasis of calm and tranquillity. 

“Hush!”  Is that the wind rustling in the trees?

Or is it the chapel bell tolling out beneath the waters of Llyn Celyn?

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33 thoughts on “And Still The Bell Tolls

  1. What a profoundly moving tribute to what is no more. What can be remembered is never really lost to us personally. But unless someone writes the story, the memories fade into the folds of history. Thank you for writing the story. Much love and hugs from Canada.

    Liked by 2 people

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