Abbeycwmhir, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 6PG
Coed Trewernau Mill is an extant corn mill on the bank of the Clywedog Brook, near Abbeycwmhir in Radnorshire. It is a very small corn mill with wooden working parts – doubtless once typical of many rural mills in Wales. It must have served a very small and scattered population, probably ceasing work over a hundred years ago.
Coed Trewernau has origins as least as far back as 17th century when it was owned by the Hanmer family of Pentrepant, Shropshire. Some while later in the 19th century the mill was acquired by the Lord Glanusk Estate. From at least 1839 the mill has been associated with a farm of 25–30 acres.
The mill building appears to be of late 18th century date. Inside the mill the working parts are almost complete. The most easily removable wooden parts have gone. Missing is all the stone furniture, most of the softwood boarding on the front of the hurst, those cogs which could be salvaged without much effort, and other items such as the wooden twist pegs. There never appears to have been a sack-hoist, but there is an external loading door to the stone floor, facing the Clywedog Brook. The mechanical layout, including the pitwheel, upright shaft, wallower and spurwheel are thought to be original features.
Nearly all the remaining working parts within the mill appear to be of a mid- to late-18th century date. It is probable that these working parts are contemporaneous with the mill building. Later replacements are the waterwheel shaft, the cross-tailed gudgeons and probably the waterwheel. The wallower shows intriguing evidence of the use of an existing spur or contrate gear with a larger pitch, which was modified and re-cogged to mesh with the present pitwheel. It is thought more likely that the modification was carried out as part of the installation of the rest of the machinery rather than later. The runner millstone appears to be from the Penallt area in the Forest of Dean, and may have come to this mill second-hand, as the rynd pattern is probably of a slightly earlier date than the mill and its machinery. These working parts are a rare survival of rural mid to late 18th century millwrighting.
Coed Trewernau Mill is not normally open to the public but the owners can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
Coflein Ref NPRN 40284 and 410437
The mill has been described in papers in Melin 34 by Alan Stoyel and Mel Walters and Mel gave a presentation to WMS in October 2021 on her latest research. A recording of this talk is given here.