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Foel Valve Tower

A Grade II* Listed Building in Rhayader, Powys

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Latitude: 52.264 / 52°15'50"N

Longitude: -3.5977 / 3°35'51"W

OS Eastings: 291061

OS Northings: 264071

OS Grid: SN910640

Mapcode National: GBR 9D.ZJVY

Mapcode Global: VH5CV.LCD8

Plus Code: 9C4R7C72+HW

Entry Name: Foel Valve Tower

Listing Date: 31 July 1995

Last Amended: 31 July 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 16201

Building Class: Water Supply and Drainage

Location: Near NE end of Carreg Ddu viaduct.

County: Powys

Community: Rhayader (Rhaeadr Gwy)

Community: Rhayader

Locality: Elan Valley

Traditional County: Radnorshire

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Part of the Elan Valley reservoir scheme built by City of Birmingham 1893 to 1904. Engineer James Mansergh. The scheme was amongst the greatest civic achievements of the late C19. The Corporation of Birmingham employed direct labour for the scheme which involved the construction of 53 km of railway to transport materials from the Wye Valley line at Rhayader, 4 dams, an aqueduct 126 km long, and a village for construction workers. The height of the reservoirs enabled water to reach the outskirts of Birmingham by gravity alone, without the expense of pumping. Provision was made for future expansion in the Claerwen Valley where the scheme was brought to its current state by the Claerwen dam in 1952. Water supply to Birmingham is taken from this tower.


Round valve tower; brown rock-faced stone. Upper stage has copper dome with low lantern and weathervane, seven round arched windows; towards landward side, doorway onto bridge connecting tower to land; bridge has elliptical arch and parapet which continues round broader lower stage of tower which runs down below water level. At least two tiers of barred round-headed intake windows.
Interior said to contain original operating machinery.

Reasons for Listing

Graded II* as an integral part of one of the greatest civic engineering achievements of the C19.

Group value.

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