History Man – A List of Local Mills.
It’s strange how once-familiar landmarks can disappear from a landscape. Until a century ago, mills were more common than parish churches – there were thousands of them all over the country. Now they are something of an endangered species, with St. Dogmaels’ ‘Y Felin’ standing as a particularly pleasant survivor. Some mills were “grist mills” for grinding corn for making flour, others were “fulling mills” producing woollen cloth. In later years there were some quite large woollen factories in the area. I know that plenty of you out there love lists, so here are a few of the lost and forgotten mills around the Teifi estuary, listed by parish, and the dates when they were operating.
Bridell – Cwmffrwd Mill (closed after 1922);
Gaer Woollen Factory (closed ca1896).
Cilgerran - Cilgerran Mill (Medieval, closed early 20th Century);
Combe or Cwm Mill (Medieval, and an early loss);
Garnon’s Mill (17th Century to early 20th Century)
Llantood – Broyan Mill (ca1780-ca1930);
Felinganol (until about 1790);
Felin Fach (17th Century)
Monington - Rhydyfantwn Mill (ca1820-1920’s)
St. Dogmaels – Cambrian Mills, Teifi Stores (1870-1917);
Y Felin a.k.a. St. Dogmaels Mill (13th Century-1926; restored from 1979);
A second St. Dogmaels mill, possibly on the site now occupied by Abbey Forge (13th Century to ca1600);
Glanpwllafon Mill (15th Century to 1920’s);
Henlana Woollen Mills (at its’ peak in the 1920’s);
Manian Mill alias Melin y Gorse (1660’s – ca 1890); Melin Ceibwr (16th Century)
Ferwig – Felinbedr Mill (ca1760-ca1948);
Felinwynt (date unknown, but an early loss – windmills are very rare around here)
Llangoedmor – Blaenypistyll Mill (1680’s – 1930’s);
Felingynllo (another early closure);
Felinfach Mill, near Penparc (ca1720-ca1938);
Melin y Dyffryn (referred to in 1670);
Penrallt Mill (1830’s-1950’s);
Trewindsor Woollen Mill (1840’s-ca1970)
Llechryd - Llechryd Mill (ca1340-ca1870)
Cardigan – Cardigan Town Mill (ca1110-ca1901);
Felinban (13th Century – 18th Century);
Felinganol Mill (1780’s-1920’s);
New Mill a.k.a. Felin Newydd (ca1275-1940’s)
As well as the surviving mill buildings, traces can still be seen of leets, watercourses and dams and the sites of old sluice gates. In an age when alternative technology is a growing interest, I wonder where there are no longer any waterwheels supplied by our many streams and rivers. Surely a valuable, cheap and clean source of electricity lies waiting to be remembered. We may neglect our watercourses these days, but our forebears were clever enough to make use of them!
Glen K Johnson, Tivy-Side Advertiser, April 2011.