• Y FELIN (St. Dogmaels Mill)

    by  • June 23, 2013 • Medieval, Mill, Modern, Pembrokeshire, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type, St. Dogmaels • 1 Comment


    The name means ‘The Mill’. A fulling mill in St. Dogmaels was recorded in 1291. Two mills were demised to John Bradshaw in 1537, having belonged to the Abbey. They were unoccupied at the time of the Dissolution. The mills were confirmed as John Bradshaw’s possessions by a charter of 1544 from King Henry VIII. The two mills were operating in 1603 according to George Owen. A deed of 28th July 1619 mentions William Bradshaw’s new water corn grist mill in St. Dogmaels. Harrie David may have been the miller in 1626.

    David Parry of Noyadd Trefawr, Llandygwydd, purchased the mills in 1646 and following his death, the two mills passed to his son on 23rd June 1648. Three mills in the parish were subject to leasehold sale in 1652. On 5th April 1720 Stephen Parry of Noyadd Trefawr leased St. Dogmaels Mill to William Rowland of Cilgarthen and Charles Evans of Llwyndyrus, Llandygwydd. On 29th January 1744 David & Frances Parry leased out the Mill. In 1768 reference was made to former tenant Margaret Roberts and current tenant William Morris. In 1775 Thomas Edward of the Mill became a warden of St. Thomas’ Church. In 1779 Francis Edwards may have been the miller.

    On 20th February 1781 Marmaduke Gwynne of Noyadd Trefawr granted a 21-year lease to John Williams, carpenter of St. Dogmaels, for £13 per annum. In 1786-96 Madame Gwynne leased the mill to John Williams. In 1797-1803 Elizabeth Williams was the tenant. In 1808-23 Elizabeth Williams lived here. On 27th December 1808 Elizabeth Williams, widow, and John Edwards, farmer, leased the mill from Frances Gwynne for 3 lives at £31. 10s. per annum. On 25th March 1813 David Williams, son of John & Mary Williams of the Mill, died aged 2. On 28th April 1814 David Williams, son of John & Mary Williams, died aged 1. On 20th October 1820 Margaret Williams, daughter of John & Mary Williams, died aged 1. On 28th December 1821 Jemima Williams, daughter of John & Mary Williams, died aged 4. On June 24th 1823 Elizabeth WIlliams was buried at St Dogmaels having died aged 74.

    Between 4th February and 11th November 1825, extensive repairs and rebuilding were conducted to the mill for the Parry family of Noyadd Trefawr. The top floor and lean-to may have been added at this time, or possibly later. Mr. D. Morgan of Penygraig recommended David Evans as a tenant for the mill at that time. On 12th June 1825 Mr. W. Webley-Parry wrote:

    “…I hope you will get on as speedily as possible with the mill, tell me in what state of progress it is and when likely to be finished…”

    Captain William Henry Webley Parry and his son, also William Henry Webley Parry of Noyadd Trefawr, mortgaged the mill to Theodosia Catherine Hamilton of Laugharne on 25th June 1827. In 1830 the mill may have been operated by Mary Owen. On 10th October 1833 William Henry Webley Parry sold the Mill to John Williams of Pencwm, who then mortgaged it to David Evans.

    In 1841 the following persons lived here: John Williams, 63, miller; Mary Williams, his wife, 50; Benjamin Williams, 15, their son; Jemima Williams, 15, daughter; Margaret Williams, 10, daughter; David Williams, 10; John Williams, 5; and Betzi Williams, 4, grand-daughter. On 22nd May 1843 John Williams mortgaged the Mill to Lewis Evans of Cardigan, including:

    “…all that and those dwelling house, water corn grist mill, woollen manufactory or carding machine, lands, garden and other hereditaments thereunto belonging…”

    On 30th September 1845 John Williams of the Mill, died aged 68. In 1845-65 Mary Williams lived here and was the miller. In 1851 the following persons lived here: Mary Williams, 62, widow, miller; Benjamin Williams, 29, her son; David Williams, 21, son; Margaret Williams, 23, daughter; and Betsy Williams, 14, grand-daughter. On 13th December 1851 Margaret Williams, daughter of the late John Williams, married John Jones, mariner of St. Dogmaels. On September 16th 1855 Benjamin Williams, 33, merchant, son of the late John Williams, married Margaret Edwardes Davies, daughter of Rev. Lewis Davies of West Street, Fishguard. In 1861 the following persons lived here: Mary Williams, 72, miller; John Williams, 28, her son, mariner; and Elizabeth Williams, 24, grand-daughter and servant. On 21st October 1865 Mary Williams, widow of John Williams, died aged 76. The mill was advertised for sale in 1866 as:

    “…Corn and Grist Mill and Cording Mill, also Kiln House, Lime Kiln, Dwelling House and Indentures, asking price £350…”

    John Davies leased the property from the Bridge-End Friendly Society in April 1866 and mortgaged it to George Bowen of Plas Newydd. John davies was the miller in 1866-69. On 28th September 1869 the mill, which belonged to Ann Williams, was sold by the Bridge-End Friendly Society.

    The following persons lived here in 1871: William Gwynne, 22, miller; Anne Gwynne, 26, his wife; Margaret Gwynne, 2, their daughter; Evan Gwynne, 1, son; and Rachel James, 17, servant. In 1871-1914 William Gwynne was the occupier and miller. In 1881 the following persons lived here: William Gwynne, 38, corn miller (b. Nevern); Anne Gwynne, 36, his wife (b. Monington); Margretta Gwynne, 12, their daughter (b. Monington); Evan Gwynne, 11, son; Ellen Gwynne, 9, daughter; Benjamin Gwynne, 8, son; James Gwynne, 6, son; John Gwynne, 3, son; and Emily Gwynne, 1, daughter. Except where noted otherwise, all were born in the parish. On 29th March 1883 a daughter was born to Mrs. & Mr. William Gwynne. The mill was advertised for sale on 30th December 1887. It was sold

    Sale advertisement for the Mill, January 1888 (Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser)

    Sale advertisement for the Mill, January 1888 (Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser)

    by auction at ‘The Shipwright’s Arms’, Castle Street, Cardigan, on 21st January 1888 to William & Emily Anne Gwynne, who remained the occupants. On 17th September 1888 two fields were mortgaged by William & Anne Gwynne to John Rees of Hendre. In 1891 William Gwynne stood as a candidate in the Cardigan Municipal Election. In 1891 the following persons lived here: William Gwynne, 48, miller; Ann Gwynne, 46, his wife; Margaret Gwynne, 22, their daughter; Evan Gwynne, 21, son; Ellen Gwynne, 19, daughter; James Gwynne, 16, son; John Gwynne, 13, son; Emily Ann Gwynne, 11, daughter; Phoebe Mary Gwynne, 8, daughter; William Gwynne, 4, son; and Griffith David Gwynne, 1, son. In 1892 a mortgage of two fields by William & Ann Gwynne was transferred from John Rees of Hendre to Dr. J. M. Phillips of Cardigan. On 5th November 1895 Mr. D. J. Wigley, Chief Engineer on the S. S. ‘Ardrishaig’, married Margaret (“Getta”) Gwynne, eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. William Gwynne, the Mill. Ca1900 the roof of the mill was replaced.

    William Gwynne circa 1905 (Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser)

    William Gwynne circa 1905 (Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser)

    In 1901 the following persons lived here: William Gwynne, 58, corn miller (b. Nevern); Ann Gwynne, 56, his wife (b. Monington, Welsh-speaking); Evan Gwynne, 31, their son; Ellen Gwynne, 29, daughter; Emily A. Gwynne, 21, daughter; Phoebe M. Gwynne, 18, daughter; William Gwynne, 14, son; and Griffith D. Gwynne, 11, son. Except where noted otherwise, all were bilingual and born in the parish. On 2nd August 1902 James Gwynne, son of William Gwynne, married Kate Davies of Llangammarch Wells. In 1911 the following persons lived here: William Gwynne, 68, miller; Anne Gwynne, 66, his wife; Evan Gwynne, 41, son, assistant miller; Phoebe Mary Gwynne, 28, their daughter; Emily Ann Thomas, 41, daughter, managing grocer’s shop; Margaretta Jane Wigley, 13, grand-daughter, scholar; Willie Gwynne Wigley, 9, grandson, scholar; Annetta Gwynne Thomas, 9 months, grand-daughter; and William Joseph Bowen, 30, servant (b. Pembroke). Except where noted otherwise, all were St. Dogmaels born. On 16th March 1914 William Gwynne of the Mill died aged 71.

    In 1914-26 Evan Gwynne lived here and was the miller. Sgt. Griffith D. Gwynne of the mill received the Military Medal for service in the Great War. He was in France in February 1918. In 1921 Griffith D. Gwynne, M. M., B. A., of the mill, was the secretary of the Cardigan Liberal Club. On 20th May 1926 Evan Gwynne, eldest son of Ann Gwynne and the late William Gwynne, died aged 56. The mill then fell into disuse. On 2nd February 1929 Ann Gwynne, widow of William Gwynne, died aged 83. Her children included Alderman Benjamin O. Gwynne of Cwmdegwel and Castle Street, Cardigan; and Griffith D. Gwynne, Headmaster of St. Dogmaels Council School. In 1934-37 Miss Gwynne lived here. On 26th October 1938 there was a sale of stock, crops and furniture held here as Miss Phoebe Gwynne was retiring from farming. In 1939-73 Phoebe James lived at Mill House. On 13th December 1939 Miss Retta Gwynne of Cross House, High Street, Cardigan, died here aged 36, the property being her aunt and uncle’s house. In February 1940 the Gwynne family were still resident. On 30th March 1940 John Gwynne of Cross House, High Street, Cardigan, died here at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. E. James.

    The mill briefly re-opened during the Second World War. In 1941 William J. Bowen of the mill became a postman. He had once been a miller’s labourer here. In 1941-64 Evan Griffith James lived at the Mill House. In 1952 the neglected mill pond was filled with rubble. In February 1956 William J. Bowen, who had lived here with Mr. & Mrs. James for almost fifty years, died aged 74. On 23rd December 1963 Evan Griffith James, husband of Phoebe Mary James nee’ Gwynne, died aged 75. Phoebe Mary James nee’ Gwynne died on 27th April 1973. The mill was then advertised for sale. In 1974 it was advertised together with a garden, the 3 bedroom Mill House and the mill pond, which had outline planning permission for two bungalows to be built over the site. It was sold together with the Mill House, Mill Pond and garden in 1977.

    In 1979-2013 Michael Hall and his wife Jane Hall were the owners. On 21st September 1979 Michael Hall announced his intention to restore the mill to full working order. This was done in 1981, and the clearing of the mill-pond commenced that February. The mill pond was re-flooded on April 18th 1981. The mill became a Grade II* Listed Building in 1993. On 3rd July 2006 H. R. H. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, briefly visited the mill.

    The mill in September 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson

    The mill in September 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson


    In 1993 the building was described by CADW:

    EXTERIOR – Early C19 flour mill, raised and altered later in C19, but possibly including earlier stonework. Rubble stone with slate roof, two storeys and loft, with continuous roof over added lean-to on N side. The gables show evidence of being raised, presumably in the later C19. Gable front to W with off-centre stable-door with painted stone voussoirs. Lean-to to left has similar ground floor door. First floor has similar door with timber lintel, to right reached by six slate steps off terrace in front of Mill House. Loft has later C19 casement pair with brick surround and cambered head. 5 tiers of blocked dove-holes above. Blank S wall to mill-pond. Rear wall has 16 foot overshot water-wheel, the iron rim removed from Felin Isaf (Dewiston Mill), St Davids. First-floor window with single slab lintel to centre and small opening to left over trough. Loft has brick-framed casement pair similar to front. Lean-to has straight joint suggesting that it was added even after the gable was raised, one first floor window with brick head, and N side has window and door to ground floor with timber lintels.

    INTERIOR – Full set of working machinery, all intact at restoration. Pine floor joists and beams. Loft roof has some re-used collar beams and most window lintels appear re-used. Lean-to has kiln and malting floor.

    Machinery said to be dated 1819…”


    NLW Kyle MSs 29-30

    NLW Noyadd Trefawr MSs 471-472; 1601-1602; 678; 1020; 1394–1401; 1410-1416; 1418; 1119

    Pembrokeshire Record Office: HPR/145/15

    Unpublished Bill regarding William Webley 1773.

    Gloucester Journal 09/08/1779

    Land Tax Lists for St. Dogmaels 1786-1803

    St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Burials 1813-52

    Pigot’s Directory 1830

    Census Returns 1841; 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911

    Slater’s Directory 1850; 1868

    St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Marriages 1837-1970

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1866; 1869; 1883; 1887-88; 1895; 1902; 1905; 1911; 1914; 1917-

              19; 1926; 1929; 1934-35; 1937-41; 1956; 1964; 1974; 1979; 1991; 1999; 2001

    Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1906; 1914; 1926

    Accounts – Rebuilding Blaenywaun Chapel, St Dogmaels 1891

    Occupiers List of Voters – St. Dogmaels 30/07/1894

    The History of St. Dogmaels Abbey, Emily M Pritchard 1907

    Register of Electors – Cardigan 1874; 1912

    Blaenwaun Chapel Annual Report 1938; 1939; 1944

    Annual Report – Capel Seion, St. Dogmaels 1952

    Elizabethan Pembrokeshire, George Owen, ed. Brian Howells 1973

    Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – St. Dogmaels, Julian Orbach CADW 1993

    The 1993 Guide to Cardigan

    The Cardigan Guide 1994

    Y Felin – Guide

    The Phone Book 2003

    Monumental Inscriptions, Blaenwaun Chapel cemetery

    Documents & Deeds held by Mike & Jane Hall, Y Felin.

    © Glen K Johnson 23/06/2013.


    One Response to Y FELIN (St. Dogmaels Mill)

    1. Anne Taylor
      July 18, 2014 at 6:56 am

      I am still trying to connect Joseph William -mariner-b 1813 Tiron Isaf to John and Mary (nee?)wiliams,-with the John and mary at the Mill in St Dogmaels in 1841.Joseph married Elizabeth Lodwig in 1838and was so not resident at the Mill.
      Looking at the Ages of the sons and daughters at the Mill in 1841 I am now not so sure!!
      I am thinking of contacting the Record office again for another search of Josephs birth family
      I have not been involved with my St Dogmaels famly for a long time now-other searches re Cornish miners taking up most of my time.Our local librarian is however connected with the mill family and I have helped her with her searching-family in Baptist st at one time!
      Hope all is going well for you-we have 2 visits to Newport planned in Sept /oct and spent a week in April overlooking the Golf course with sun every day!!
      Best wishes Anne Taylor

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