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Trawsfynydd Power Station, Grounds And Gardens

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Map ReferenceSH63NE
Grid ReferenceSH6905738195
Unitary (Local) AuthorityGwynedd
Old CountyMerioneth
Type Of SiteGARDEN
PeriodPost Medieval
Grounds and gardens of nuclear power station (NPRN 301092).

The Trawsfynydd Power Station was built in 1956 to architectural specifications by Sir Basil Spence. Landscaping was undertaken by Dame Sylvia Crowe. Landscape historians have viewed their partnership very much in the light of the eighteenth century landscapers (Repton, Brown and Emes), whose work harmonised that of contemporary Georgian architects. Spence and Crowe intended the main buildings to be visible from local vantage points and to be seen in the same spirit as a medieval castle. Care was taken to design ancillary plant in keeping with that spirit, with vegetation grown to help the long-term effect. An elaborate 'dragon' garden was laid out alongside the reactor site. This was linked to nearby landscaped areas by a network of purpose-built paths.

Decommissioned in 1993, the site is now being systematically dismantled, the eventual intention being to reduce the height of Spence's central buildings, his mock 'castle'. In 1994, BBC Wales produced a programme on the site's future and published a report, mostly concerned with seeing that Spence and Crowe's state-commissioned masterpiece would be removed or buried (Barrie 1995).

Barrie,D.(1995). Power to Change: Architecture for a New age of Nuclear waste and Decommissioning, BBC Cymru and numerous others.

C.S.Briggs 11.01.06; 22.05.06