Early postcard of Tan y Bwlch
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Llyn Mair (Mair's Lake) was artificially created as a 21st birthday present for W.E.Oakeley's daughter, Mary (Mair in Welsh). (See also: Plas Tan y Bwlch, home of the Oakeley family.) We lack evidence for the tradition that it was used for water supply or hydroelectricity generation for the Plas. However, a new hydroelectric plant was installed about 2010 and now supplies the Plas.
The lake is actually the lowest in its own little system. From one source on the flanks of Moelwyn Bach, a stream passes through both Llyn y Garnedd Uchaf and Llyn y Garnedd Isaf, passing beneath the FR at Creuau Bank, before reaching Llyn Mair itself. From the valley leading towards Rhyd a stream flows through Llyn Hafod y Llyn (another artificial lake ) under the FR and on to Llyn Mair.
From its dammed eastern end Llyn Mair's outflow becomes a tributary of Afon Dwyryd, which George Borrow (in his book "Wild Wales") calls the Tan y bwlch river.
Today the lake has a walk around it, and it has a popular picnic area.
- An article dealing with Borrow's walk through WHR & FR country in 1854 appeared in Festiniog Railway Heritage Group Journal, Issue 071