Developing the untapped wealth of Britain's 'Celtic Fringe': Water engineering and the Welsh landscape, 1870 - 1960

Owen Gruffydd Roberts

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8 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the development of water engineering schemes in Wales in the late 19th and 20th centuries, concentrating mainly on water-supply schemes promoted by large English municipalities such as Birmingham and Liverpool, but also discussing hydro-electricity. It is argued that the first water engineering projects in Wales were informed by certain perceptions of the Welsh landscape and wider discourses regarding Britain's 'Celtic Fringe', and that such concepts were used to promote ideas of water purity. Ideas of 'progress'; and 'modernity' surrounding the changing of the landscape through water works are analysed, and how such notions were challenged in the 20th century is explored, particularly from conservationist and nationalist perspectives. In the second half of the 20th century, it is argued, a paradox emerges, whereby different ways of seeing or perceiving the landscape of Wales led to a divergence in the political dynamics surrounding water-supply projects and hydro-electric schemes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-133
Number of pages13
JournalLandscape Research
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

Keywords

  • Engineering
  • Modernity
  • Rurality
  • Wales
  • Water resources

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