Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
Regional Historic Environment Record

Felin Wen Tide Mill, Llanfair-yn-neubwll

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 7234
Trust : Gwynedd
Community : Llanfair-yn-Neubwll
Unitary authority : Ynys Mon
NGR : SH29627718
Site Type (preferred type first) : POST MEDIEVAL TIDE MILL
Status : Scheduled Monument

Description :
The ruins of Melin Wen which is located at the mouth of the estuary and consists of a stone dam/causeway across the estuary from the northern side to an island on the southern side where a rock cut hollow accentuated by a stone wall forms the mill structure. At the northern end of this structure there is a stone lined channel for the mill wheel. A large timber is visible lying parallel to the wheel pit. The mill house still stands to the SE. The mill was still grinding corn until c.1870. <1>


Slightly more is known about the history ofFelin Wen than the other mills. It was owned by Bodorgan Estate, and there are a number of references to the mill in the estate manuscripts held at UWB. The earliest reference is the estate map of 1725 , which clearly depicts the mill with a water wheel and dam. In 1755 the mill was let for £6.00.00, with an accompanying smallholding called Mynydd y Felin for £3 .00.00. The earliest description is in the Estate Survey of 1774 , which describes it as "Mill has one pair of stones- watered by the tide - landlord repairs - should not ". The rental value of the mill and holding was £11.00.00. In 1795 the mill was let for £12.12.0 to Owen Williams. In 1815 the rent was £30.00.00, which reflected the general rise in rents following the Napoleonic wars. Repairs were carried out to the m ill in 1829, when the agent records " Melin Wen - Journey to view the repairs wanted and allowed", and three weeks later "Felin Wen - Settled plan of new buildings, dimensions and castings etc with the tenant ". In 1835 the mill was let to Margaret Williams and William Owen for a rent of £25.00.00. In 1871 the agent again visited the mill, when he made the following report "Felin Wen- The cogs in main wheel had been almost all broken and mill would not work. Visited on 13 March and allowed tennant £4. 00.00 towards new segments of cogs to be bolted on to old wheel. Visited this day and found work had been satisfactorily done and tenant and Owen Owens, Millwright, were satisfied. Also walked over tenement. Everything in fair order. Roofs of mill and old kiln very bad, to be repaired. Kiln not used now. House straw thatched but tidy. ". However, it would appear that the mill was not to keep going long, because a further visit in 1876 reads "House bad, buildings fair. Present tenant to try for a year or two. Mill out of order. Embankment ditto. "

Archaeology (Figs 4-5 and plates 7-1 0)

This site consists of a long dam , orientated approximately east-west across the mouth of a tidal inlet, which encloses a mill pool some 10,000 sq metres in extent. The mill is situated on a rocky outcrop, or island, at the east end of the dam , and the outcrop is linked to the shore by another short length of dam. The principal dam is a strong stone wall, just over I OOm long, and between 3.0 and 3.5 m wide. One the seaward side it is a little over 1.0 m deep, whereas in the mill-pool silting has occurred against the wall so it is only 0.6 m deep, although 1 m from the wall the bottom of the pool is 1.08m below the top of the wall. The sluice gates were situated at the mill end of the dam, which is where the tide presently runs through. There are no visible remains of the gates, which appear to have been some 2 m wide. The wheel race, 1.1 m wide and 0.66 m deep, is situated along the west side of the mill. The location of the mill building has been created on the rock outcrop, by blasting stone to create a fairly level area 6.5 m by 4 m, of which the south side is formed from the rock face of the remaining outcrop, and the north and east sides by stone walls. The west side appears to have been open to the race. The mill building is depicted on the 1887 25" OS map as a rectangular structure, with a narrower rectangular building on the east gable (fig. 4). It is no longer possible to make out the east extension . Adjacent to the wheel race, within the mill , is a level floor of irregular shape, but approximately 4 m square, in which is set a length of timber 0.2 m wide and 3.8 m long, which runs parallel to the race. A second, small length of wood is also visible (see fig. 5). The function of the lengths of wood is unknown, nor is it known if they are in situ. Just inside the east wall is a probable small remnant of a mill stone, but insufficient of it remains to calculate its diameter. (Davidson, 1998).

Sources :
Davidson, A. , 1998 , Coastal Erosion Project: Measured Survey of Tide Mills ( © GAT)
Davidson, A. , 2002 , The Medieval Mills of Anglesey: Archaeological Threat Related Assessment ( © GAT)
Jones, S. , 1997 , Coastal Erosion Survey - Anglesey , <1>
Cadw , 1997 , Felin Wen Tide Mill , <2>
Davidson, A. , 2000 , Melin: Journal of the Welsh Mills Group , <5>

Events :
40362 : Coastal Erosion Survey: Anglesey (year : 1997)
44297 : The Medieval Mills of Anglesey: Archaeological Threat Related Assessment (year : 2002)
40411 : Tide Mills Survey (year : 1998)

Related PRNs : 402431

Compiled date : 16-05-1997

The above data are supplied by GAT in partnership with its Local Authorities (Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd County Councils, and Snowdonia National Park Authority), © GAT 2019 (and in part © Crown, 2019 - as indicated)
This information is supplied for the purposes of personal interest only and may not be used as part of a commercial project.

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