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Trawsfynydd (Welsh : "across [the] mountain") is a village in North Wales, adjacent to the A470 north of Dolgellau.

The power station across the lake
The power station across the lake

The village is close to Llyn Trawsfynydd, a large man-made reservoir which was originally built to supply water for Maentwrog hydro-electric power station between 1924 and 1928, and later to supply cooling water to a twin reactor nuclear power plant used for the commercial generation of electricity for the UK national grid. The reactors were of the magnox type. Both reactors are now shut down and the site is in the process of being decommissioned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

The original flooding of the area in the 1920s to create the lake, involved the drowning of some two dozen properties, some of historical significance, but there was little objection at the time. The new power station was regarded as a good thing, and indeed on its completion was capable of supplying the whole of North Wales' electricity needs. However, there was certain objection to the loss of rights of way across the former land, necessitating long detours round the new lake. In response to this, a small road was built along its western shore, and a footbridge (still standing) across the narrowest part of the lake.

Four dams were built to create the lake, one of these being subsequently rebuilt after construction of the nuclear power plant. Whereas previously the Maentwrog power station had access to all of the water in the lake, the needs of the nuclear plant dictated that henceforth the former plant should only use the top 5' of water level.

Trawsfynydd was the home of the Welsh bard Hedd Wyn, who died on the battlefields of Flanders during World War I, just before he was to receive the winning prize at the National Eisteddfod. The Y Gadair Ddu (The Black Chair) can now be found at his home farm Yr Ysgwrn. He is buried at Flanders.

The parish of Trawsfynydd was also home to Saint John Roberts, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, canonised in 1970. Descended from Welsh saints and princes, he gained great respect helping the plague sufferers in London, but was found guilty of high treason and hung, drawn and quartered on the 10th December 1610.

During the Second World War, the War Office used a site near Trawsfynydd for training exercises. Its continued use for training exercises following the war was the subject of protest by Plaid Cymru, which also challenged the UK government's continued military conscription in peace time. Other locations in Wales used for training exercises included Preseli Hills and Tregaron.

Trawsfynydd used to be served by a section of the Great Western Railway mainline which ran from Bala to Blaenau Ffestiniog. To the north of the station the army built its own station to serve the large camp nearby (camp detail). Today Trawsfynydd railway station is a private home. (pictures). The line closed to all traffic in 1961, but the section between Blaenau and Trawfynydd Power Station reopened in 1964 for freight traffic. It finally closed in 1998, although the track remains in situ.

The village has a high proportion of Welsh speakers (81.7%) [1], and is accordingly in the top 5 Welsh communities in Gwynedd [2].

[edit] Trivia

The film First Knight had scenes filmed around Lake Trawsfynydd.[1]

The film Hedd Wyn was filmed in and around Trawsfyndd.

[edit] References

  1. ,

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 52°54'08?N 3°55'26?W? / ?52.90224, -3.92382

(Source: Wikipedia)
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