Video: Haunting footage – filmed under the water; drowned village, Capel Celyn.

UPDATE: After further research, it became apparent that this video couldn’t be Capel Celyn due to the fact that the town was demolished before they put the water in.


its not tryweryn, the chapel was bulldozed and the graveyard cemented over,more than likely its from underneath lake vyrnnwy


The underwater views in this video are neither Tryweryn or Lake Vyrnwy – I was able to walk down into both lakes during the dry summer of 1995 and through the remains of both the village of Capel Celyn (Tryweryn) and the old village of Llanwddyn (Lake Vyrnwy), and there are certainly no walls or buildings left standing – although I was able to walk across the bridges in both villages – these being the only structures left standing.

For those of you who don’t know:

Capel Celyn was a rural community to the north west of Bala in north Wales, in the Afon Tryweryn Valley that was flooded to create a reservoir, Llyn Celyn, to supply Liverpool and The Wirral, with water for industry. The village contained, among other things, a chapel, as the name of the community suggests.

The video really choked me up for some reason. The fact that there are still buildings under there, to me is frightening.

A few months ago I got the chance to see the lake and the village’s memorial. I still find it such a striking symbol. Amazing that such a thing was allowed to happen.

I also went to see a Welsh play called Porth Y Byddar. This is perhaps the reason why recently, any mention of this hits me particularly hard.

The play really captured what it is to be part of a Welsh village, something which I have never experienced, but have a taste for when I return to Wales. No part of my upbringing has occured in Wales (minus countless holidays) so it’s amazing that these things remain so close to my heart.

The play also portrayed a time (50s) where to go to church was a norm, and the worship of God seemed to be more highly respected.

Characters were brought out beautifully in the play, which made the fact that their homes were drowned all the more upsetting, particuarly one mother who had lost her son to a drowning accident, having to move his body.

I’d love to see more media on the net on this, I will keep on my search; watch this space.

*The music in the video could not be more appropriate, it is ‘Dan y Dŵr’ by Enya, which means ‘Under the Water’ in Welsh.

Another appropriate track would be Dŵr by Huw Jones, which is actually about the drowning Capel Celyn.

47 thoughts on “Video: Haunting footage – filmed under the water; drowned village, Capel Celyn.

  1. I walked the streets of Capel Celyn to sound of
    cymrus tongue , I was a young man in those far off days , To look upon the silent ghostly images of Capel Celyn beneath those balck green waters of its death shroud, I could here once more the
    call of justice for our language and freedom for our home land ,And to every treacherous coward I,ve a dagger in my hand.

    • I am English.
      I visited Celyn at the weekend. I am grieved to think how two communities could be destroyed in the name of industrial progress. I was left sickened by the whole story.

      To suggest, however, that ALL English people are ‘a cold hearted selfish race who are jealous of everything welsh’ is as ludicrous as to suggest that ALL welsh people are lazy, backward, good-for-nothing heel snappers who are worth only as much as their land.
      Both assertions are stupid, unfounded, and based only on stupid uninformed prejudice. You can label an individual, or even a group of individuals based on their actions, but you can never coat a whole race with the same paint. It doesn’t work.

      Oh, yes, and your intimation to use a dagger to the English is officially called ‘incitement to use violence on grounds of race’. We’re no longer in the dark ages. Grow up.

  2. sorry rhodri but do not think i am over the top at all, i am 63 years old and i was born and bred in north wales by welsh parents , over the years i have seen the english moving into my once lovely village and domineering it buying our cheaper housing and taking the better paid jobs from our welsh boys.owain glyndwr must be turning in his grave.

  3. couldnt agree more with you mary, english are taking over our beautifull country side!! i live not far frm bala and the story of the dam is sad that people had to leave there villiage just for the english!. we have traveled past the capel celyn dam today and told my 8yr old daughter the story of what happened all those years ago, this is why were are on this site nw, because she whats to find out more, thanks for your time

    • Susan if it wasn’t for the English buying your sheep products your beautiful countryside wouldn’t be worth your farmers staying on the land! And If it isn’t productive to work what would happen to it then?
      Oh and there’s a lot of you welsh taking over our beautiful English countryside also!!!

  4. Hi – was just checking something out about Capel Celyn and came across your blog. The Village is actually a model which was built in the ‘tank’ at the BBC Ealing studios. I felt that I wanted to reflect the senseless loss in destroying a village for an ‘English’ reservoir and and as the village had indeed been destroyed and there was nothing to film underwater I had a model built and asked Enya to sing in welsh, which I think she did admirably. So historically completely inaccurate, but I hope emotionally, ‘spot-on’.

    • Wow, I’d never heard of that taking place! Haven’t heard anything about that, if it’s true that is amazing. Thanks for getting in touch. -Rhodri

  5. its a little harsh taking it out on the english, mary, im english born and bred who is a regular tourist to north wales, and all i can say about welsh people is ARROGANT SELFISH RACIST SPITEFUL FULL OF cannot blame the english as a whole for one little community that is not responsible for flooding a welsh village. it was welsh authorities that ok;d it get your facts right. england pumps a shed load of money into wales each year you selfish bitch haha

    • If you hate the Welsh then stop coming to Wales you stupid bitch. I hope you die and burn in hell. And for your information not one Welsh MP was in favour of the DROWNING only the arrogant and naive selfish English cunts.

      • Wow! Id rather be an English cunt anyday, than a welsh inbread, who shags his own family and animals!

      • i suppose my words were harsh but you cannot call ALL english for the flooding. I go to wales all the time and like it better than my native england! what happened to that village was out of ordinary Welsh/english residents’s hands. so sorry on that one.

      • David, why then is England full of Welsh people who have left Wales? If it’s that great why leave?
        Wales is indeed very picturesque, as is England! But the only problem with Wales……is the Welsh people!

      • David,you are giving Wales and Welsh people a bad name, I’ve met bitter and twisted neanderthals like you before, having an English accent but being Welsh I honeymooned in Rhyd Ddu near Beddgelert 15 years ago and had no problem with the locals when they thought I was English,however on my final day there I went into the bar with a Pontypridd rugby shirt on and had to knock out the idiot who attacked me as he thought those from South Wales were traitors as they did’nt speak the language. His views were of course complete bollocks as are your uneducated disgusting comments, especially as you were talking to a women and on a site which women and children can openly view.
        I will often visit Llyn Celyn and have a quite reflective moment, I also annually visit Aberfan and place a bunch of flowers on a random grave, that was a real tragedy.
        David grow up, apologize for your foul mouthed rant an .tcepser fles emos tegd

  6. Pingback: Is this clip real?

  7. I am glad it is just a model, as I always thought the bricks to most good homes were removed before the flooding at Capel Celyn.
    @ Gemma, I fail to see how your logic works at stating not all English people can be blamed and classed the same ( which I agree0, and yet calling ALL Welsh people arrogant, selfish, racist, spiteful and full of hate.
    It was Not Welsh authorities that sanctioned the flooding, it was English parliament also.

  8. To gemma,
    You’re shouting at us for being full of hatred when saying that, you clearly are yourself.
    And the English are to blame because the Welsh council did talk and protest but the Liverpool council said they had no say in the matter, on their OWN land…
    But Liverpool did give an official apology, I don’t know when, so they are not all baddies!

    • I know this has long since been talked about but whilst reading this I have found the official apology was given in 2005. This in know will in no way ever bring back what was taken from Wales. I am a Welsh boy through and through living in England and every time I visit home I breathe a sigh of relief that I can breathe pure air unpolluted by high rise buildings and industry. Cymru am byth

  9. @ David, you seriously need to get your issues in order. What a totally disgusting comment. People like you should be seen and not heard! Vile man.

  10. Really come on everyone we are all British… OK so the Welsh are better singers, dancers, and obviously better looking…But the English do have some good bits too… hang on I will think of something… no sorry, nothing coming to mind.. I will try harder… no sorry still nothing…Oh I know you have the power to destroy a community in another country..without thought. Bravo the English.

    • C . Morgan, ha ha ha, that’s quite good for welsh person, quite witty, did you ask an English person for any help in composing it?
      Let’s face it not enough people actually want to live in wales with it’s dying communities and a dead language. wales is just a nice park for the rest of the UK to visit and yes even the welsh who live in England.

      • No wonder scotland are voting for independence, with arseholes like you in England! Where do u get yr info from, I’ll live in wales til the day I die!

  11. interesting post, and a really chilling video! i grew up on offa’s dyke, so in old terms, one half of my garden was welsh and the other english… grew up in shropshire and went to uni in aberystwyth, so i like to think of myself as having one foot either side of the border. you people on here who think it’s okay to rant and berate on the grounds of where and when people are born and to what ancestors are just beyond the pale. maybe we should all hate ourselves because in the colonial days the residents of the UK english, welsh and scottish plundered and raped other countries and put whole villages into slavery. all humans are capable of cruelty, and of progress, and of compassion.. compassion is what it’s about really, not wishing people dead for things they can not help. peace x

    • Nonighttime, everyone blames the colonial British for the ills of the subjugated lands in the world. But really if you check the history books you will find that most European countries took lands and fought over them, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Holland, were ALL doing it. We in Great Britain just did it better! I mean just take a look at what the Vikings did in the past.
      So please don’t just blame GB for everything.

      • The usual reply from an uninformed Englishman about how all money comes from England to payroll the Scots,the ,Irish and the Welsh.They actually believe it.I always wonder why the Welsh never went for independence after that village was destroyed against the wishes of the Welsh people.I suppose it was like we were told up in Scotland,too wee,too poor and too stupid.

  12. Love that video, I’m doing a piece of theatre about Tryweryn, Llanwddyn and Epynt so this has given me a few ideas Diolch :)

    Methu credu faint mor hunan ANymwybodol mae rhai’n gallu bod, peidiwch a bod yn hiliol chi sydd wedi amharchu ni yn ein gwlad ni. Ac er eich gwybodaeth CHI wnaeth lladd ein llyw olaf Llywelyn, oherywdd CHI rydym yn gaeth i CHI felly peidiwch a beio ni am “gymryd” eich arian, chi oedd eisiau’n rheoli. Dyma’r iaith wnaeth Lloegr ceisio boddi gyda Capel Celyn a Llanwddyn ond edrychwch yn ddigon fanwl mae dal yn fyw, iaith gwreiddiol Prydain oedd Cymraeg felly peidiwch a galw eich hunain yn Saeson pur oherywdd mae’r iaith chi’n siarad yn wreiddiol o Gymru. A dydy ni ddim yn Gymru pur ry’ ni’n Brydeinig os oes rhaid fod yn dechnegol, na ni drosodd!
    No need for all the anger bois bach! ;)

  13. You all sound like a bunch of racist immature deliquents.. seriously you cant blame a whole country because of a couple of peoples mistakes.. pathetic

    • Rather funny how all these patriotic Welsh are writing their posts in English lol, I’m English but I adore Wales, it really has nothing to do with where someone is from, ignorance is something we choose and not in DNA

  14. I’m English and I believe that we did do wrong, but we were running out of water here in England! Are you welsh people just gonna stand by and watch? We have been learning it in geography and my teacher has some pretty strong oppinions on them, supporting the welsh and she is English! Anyway this started in 1950! I don’t know why you are arguing about it now! C.morgan, in all of my life I haven’t heard a welsh singer or seen a beautiful/handsome one!

  15. I am welsh and proud of it but do we really have to pay for the sins of our fathers what is done is done and they where compensated and got on with their lives and just because someone is English doesn’t mean they are automatically the baddie cant we all just get along :D

  16. First thing I would like to say,it was discussing to flood a valley and destroy the community,there must have been alternatives.Two statements I keep hearing;
    1. From the English,” when you walk into a shop or pub in Wales they start talking welsh”
    hello, they were talking Welsh before you came in,it’s there country.

    2. from the Welsh, ” These English people buying property in Wales and our young people
    Cannot afford homes”
    Hello, it was a Welsh person whom sold it !!!!

    What do you think ?

  17. What amazes me is how long this bickering has been going on for, the earliest comment in 2009 and the most recent September 2015. So I will add to it.
    I was born in England of European parents who came here after the war so I am a British Citizen. I love England but I love Wales too, I envy the Welsh communities and the close ties they have. I grew up with just my parents and siblings as all other members (around 50) of the family lived in two different countries so we never had the close bond of relatives, neither did we truly feel part of the community we lived in. Why! From my 60 years of living in England I have found that the English don’t like the Welsh or Scots, nor do they like the Irish or the French or the Germans or the Americans. Generally they always seem to be moaning about another nationality. It was the West Indians some years ago then the Asians now it’s the immigrants……oh dear the list is endless. But what I will say is that there is good and bad in every country, I have met some truly lovely decent Welsh people but also English people and people from many other countries. You cannot blame the whole country for the actions of a few and hopefully what happened with the flooding will not be allowed to happen again.
    Lessons have to be learned! You cannot blame all the Germans for what Hitler did, we must move on learn from the mistakes made before.
    There are a lot of very unpleasant messages and foul language used in some of the comments, its not necessary. We need to learn to get along and not allow the past to affect us in this way which seems to be full of hatred and bitterness. We can’t change what happened.
    Many years ago my parents lived for a spell in Wales, they had no furniture, just a bed. However within a week the whole village had rallied and brought furniture, a couple of chair, a table, a chest of drawers, curtains and other household items. They were very welcoming to two Europeans with their baby son who could speak very little English. Equally I have been blessed to meet and be helped by many English.
    Please don’t judge a whole nation and both countries are equally as beautiful.
    PS. I love Scotland too, such a wonderful place but I have not yet had the chance to visit Ireland….maybe next year.

  18. Think a lot of these comments are disgusting! Terrible thing to do to a community wherever you come from!the people of this village were not taken into account at all , shame on the politicians of the time for letting this happen.

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