A revolutionary power station in chapel form
This pioneering power station is known as ‘the chapel in the valley’ because of its elegant architecture in the arts and crafts style. Blending perfectly into its surroundings, Cwm Dyli hydro-electric station is located on the southern slopes of the spectacular Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa range. First opened in 1906, it was revolutionary at the time as it was the first power station in the UK to generate alternating current electricity.
The water required to drive the turbines which generate this alternating current is fed via a 1 mile pipeline from Llyn Llydaw. This is the largest of three lakes on the eastern flanks of Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa, some 300 metres above Cwm Dyli. Lying alongside the famous Miners’ Track to the summit of the mountain, Llyn Llydaw is said to be one of the most visited lakes in Britain; it also boasts a reputation for being the coldest!
The North Wales Power and Traction Company originally ran the site to provide power to the local quarries. An electric railway was also planned, but abandoned when funds ran short. Electricity generated here was also used to power the Long Wave Transmitting Station built by Guglielmo Marconi near Waunfawr in 1912; the station pioneered transatlantic wireless communication in the 1920s. Today a single turbine produces up to 9.8 megawatts of electricity for the National Grid. Still in operation, Cwm Dyli remains a triumph of engineering and sympathetic design.
Turn off A 498 just south of Pen y Gwryd Hotel. Limited parking near track to Hydro Station.
There is a very small road through Hafod Rhisgl which takes you nearer the Hydro Station.
Bangor Station - 19 miles
Sherpa stop at Pen y Gwryd - 1 mile
Walk down from Pen y Gwryd on track to Cwm Dyli which runs alongside the A498.
No admittance to power station. Hut circles nearby are on private land but with public access.
Full Grid Reference Number - Hydro Station: SH 653540, Hut Circles: SH 655541
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- Cwm Dyli Power Station, Nant Gwynant, Beddgelert, LL55 4NW