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The harshly magnificent landscape of the Elan Valley in Mid Wales was changed utterly in the late 1890s by a reservoir building project initiated by the Corporation of Birmingham in order to supply water to that expanding city. A great feat of civil engineering, the project required the flooding of land by the River Elan and the compensating of local landowners; but also made a tremendous impact on the traditions, rights and privileges of the local commoners, and on a flock system of hill farming that had existed for hundreds of years.
Originally published in 1969, The Valley is Elizabeth Clarke’s account of hill farming life in the Elan Valley and the massive changes wrought upon it between the first period of reservoir construction and a subsequent project that followed the Second World War.
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