I was in Llyn today dropping my daughter off at Plas Glyn y Weddw. From here I drove over the spine of the Llyn Peninsula to the small village of Pistyll. The National Trust have a small countryside property (again called Pistyll). I parked in the small NT car park and set off down the small lane to the church.
This walk was inspired by a quick chat with Paul Lewis the NT Llyn Area Ranger some 10 years earlier (can’t be accused of being rash!) and a follow on chat with Richard Neale around the same time. He mentioned the spectacle which was the electric lighting at the near by but very recently demolished Plas Pistyll (in the last 10 years). Paul mentioned that there were the remains of a hydro turbine building down the ravine almost on the nearby beach. 10 years later I was there on a mission to see what I could see. From the ‘ah ha’ moment of seeing the 6″ cast iron pipe exiting the weir and pool near the ancient church of Pistill I knew I was on to something. From the weir pool I walked passed the church and Maigret’s (Rupert Davies) grave and on down the track to NT Pistyll. “Now where would you build a turbine building?”On the very near by coast? Down the steep hill? Following a lot of cast iron pipe? Could be? Plas Pistyll before the diggers moved in to level the site
I saw the building and even from quite high-up I could see that turbine was still there but the stone building is on rather a jaunty angle. The coast here abouts is called an ‘active coast’ because it seems to want to flow into the sea. On reaching the building I saw that it contained the Rolls Royce of turbines. The hydro turbine is a 109 year old Gordon Gilbert Gilkes Vortex Hydro from Kendal. The date on the cast pipe is 1906 and turbine number is 1608. Gilkes are still manufacturing and they have helped out before with info on their turbines…lets see. Its been a good day and this really is one of the best Hidden Hydros I have seen to date.. Ancient Church, Ravine, Beach, Active Coast… Good ingredients.