News about Welsh Mills

Alan Stoyel appeal

   The Society has made a donation of £1000 from our reserve funds to the Mills Archive towards the archiving of Alan Stoyel’s extensive collection. Details of the appeal are to be found at

In making the donation we requested that the funds are used as much as possible on aspects of Alan’s collection that covers mills in Wales.  Alan Stoyel’s notes on Welsh Windmills can be found here:  If anyone would like to see any of these, the Mills Archive can send you digital copies.  If there is any part of Welsh mill history you would like to see in Alan’s Collection, the Mills Archive would be very happy to locate it for you.

Cenarth Mill

In August, the Society visited the oft described ‘iconic’ Cenarth Mill.  The owner, Martin Fowler, outlining his work renovating the Mill and his ambition to gain permission to restore the weir so that his wheel could turn again. WMS visited to discuss how the Society could support his case. A talk by Martin is available to view here.

In some instances, weirs have been removed to aid the up-stream migration of salmon.

During the day Martin had the opportunity to explain to NRW that without re-building the weir,  water couldn’t enter his leat to turn the waterwheel, and NRW invited him to apply for the appropriate permit to abstract water from the river.  Hence, after 30 years of discussions, Martin’s wheel is one step nearer to turning again.

Mucky Mills – Advising Mill Owners

WMS’s  ‘mucky mills group’ visited Felin Isaf at Llanboidy, Carmarthenshire in July, at the request of Mark John who had bought the mill and adjoining mill house.

The site lies in a deep wooded valley and includes a length of the mill race which fed both Felin Isaf and another mill, now totally ruinous, some 400 metres downstream. We had expected to see a corn mill, but in spite of a few puzzling features, we were pretty sure that both had been woollen mills.

Having concluded that Felin Isaf had been a woollen mill, there were some surprising features. One was a timber frame attached to the roof truss at the north end, with a top bearing for a light vertical shaft, and a hinged wooden beam which in a corn mill would immediately be recognised as part of a sack hoist; these are not easily reconciled with a woollen mill. Nor are the twin pigstyes attached to the east side of the mill. Mark is building close relationships with local folk as he works to bring the site and adjacent mill house into habitable condition and is determined to build up a history of the mills.

If you would like help or advice with your mill, please get in touch with Tim Haines at

Melin Llynon

Society member John Brandrick has produced new technical drawings of the internal arrangement of Melin Llynon corn mill in Anglesey.  Rex Wailes – a founder member of the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings’ Mills Section (then ‘Watermills Section’) – described the mill in detail in 1937, within the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Buildings’ Inventory of Anglesey.  John notes that aspects of the mill now differ from the 1937 description.  His detailed observations can be found at

For more information about these items of news, members can view the full articles in our latest newsletter here.

Forthcoming Events

Spring Meeting Saturday 20th April 2024 – Aymestrey, Hereford

The meeting will be held at Aymestrey Parish Hall, Aymestry, Leominster HR6 9SU


10.00 – 10.30 Arrive and welcome tea and coffee

10.30 – 11.00 Introduction and details on mills to be visited

11.00 – 13.00 Tour around Mortimers Cross Mill (2 minutes drive)

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14.30 Members talks

14.30 – 16.30 Visit to Staunton on Arrow or other mill (TBC)

16.30 – 17.15 Closing tea, departure

Cost of the day £20pp including lunch.

Please contact if you wish to attend.

Autumn Meeting and 40th AGM – Saturday 19th October 2024

The meeting will be held at Blackpool Mill, Pembrokeshire

Save the date and more information to follow later.


Recordings of talks presented at our meetings are given here:

Deborah Mercer – From Sheep to Industry

Martin Fowler – Work at Cenarth Mill

Polly Davies – Farming with Nature

Richard Hayman – How historic mills are chosen for Listed Building status

Ann Whittall – The National Wool Museum

Mel Walters – Coed Trewernau Mill: an update