Remnants of 'incredible' mansion demolished to build Caban-Coch reservoir reappear in dry weather

Nantgwyllt Mansion once stood where the Caban-Coch reservoir is now situated. Credit: Wales News Service

The remnants of a Welsh mansion, once loved by a nineteenth century poet, have been revealed due to the recent dry weather.

Nantgwyllt Manor House in Rhayader was demolished in 1903 to make way for the Caban-Coch reservoir in the Elan Valley.

However the garden walls, stone bridges and footprints still remain intact.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, a radical English Romantic poet, first visited the house when he was 18, walking all the way from his family's estate in Sussex, after an invitation from his uncle.

Percy Bysshe Shelley lived from 1792-1822. Credit: PA

Known for his works "Ozymandias" and "Ode to the West Wind", Shelley was the husband of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley.

He originally wanted to buy the house for his first wife Harriet in 1812 but could not agree a lease.

In letters from the time, Shelley spoke of his love for the countryside around the Elan Valley.

"Rocks piled on each other to tremendous heights, rivers formed into cataracts by their projections, and valleys clothed with woods, present an appearance of enchantment", Shelley wrote.

"This country is highly romantic; here are rocks of uncommon height and picturesque waterfalls. I am more astonished at the grandeur of the scenery than I expected.

"I am not wholly uninfluenced by its magic on my lonely walks."

In the early 20th century, engineers took over Nantgwyllt House to build the Caban-Coch reservoir, one of a series of dams to supply enough water for 500,000 people in Birmingham.

Parts of the garden walls of Nantgwyllt Manor House revealed due to the drought. Credit: Wales News Service

After being submerged under water for over a hundred years, it's the first time in generations that the history of the Elan Valley has been uncovered.

It shows the garden walls where Shelley once walked with wife Harriet - and the foundation of the mansion where Shelley wrote during his stays there.

Martin Thomas who was walking by the site said: "It is incredible to see it emerge from under all that water. It must have been an incredible place to stay if someone like Shelley loved it so much.

"It is so rare to see the water so low because of the drought. It is beautiful here but just in a different way now."