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  • CPAT Report No 1174

    Mills and Milling

    SCHEDULING ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME 2011-2

    THE CLWYD-POWYS ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRUST

  • CPAT Report No 1174

    Mills and Milling

    SCHEDULING ENHANCEMENT PROGRAMME 2011-12

    R Hankinson & R J Silvester

    October 2012

    Report for Cadw

    The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust 41 Broad Street, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 7RR

    tel (01938) 553670, fax (01938) 552179 CPAT 2012

    Cover photo: Melin-y-Wern, near Llanbedr Dyffryn Clwyd (CPAT 3455-0116)

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    Contents

    The Scheduling Enhancement Background 2 The Project Outline 2

    The scope of the work 3-4 Sources of data

    The Historic Environment Record (HER) 4-5 National Monument Record (NMR) 5 Ordnance Survey mapping 6 Earlier Ordnance Survey maps 6 Estate Maps 6-7 Written and Documentary Sources 7

    The desk-top assessment and fieldwork The dataset 8-10

    The resource 10-11 Selection criteria for field assessment 11 Scheduling criteria 12 Enhancing the Record 12

    Dated Mills 12

    Medieval mills 13-14 Types of Mills 14

    Corn mills 14-18 Fulling Mills 18 Cross-overs 18-19 Farm Mills 19 Crab Mills 20

    Windmills 20-21 References 22-23 Distribution Plans Watermills 24 Windmills 25 Lists Watermills, arranged by old county 26-42 Windmills 43 Gazetteer

    Appendix 1: Watermills 44-128 Appendix 2: Windmills 129-132

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    Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Mills and Milling Scheduling Enhancement Project

    The Scheduling Enhancement Background This report on medieval and early post-medieval mills and milling falls within the third phase of scheduling enhancement undertaken by the four regional trusts in Wales since the mid-1990s. The first phase began in 1995 when two pan-Wales projects were started, one looking at historic churches, the other on the heritage of the Welsh coast. Other pan-Wales projects followed, the results being used for increasing the schedule of protected ancient monuments, for increasing the coverage and quality of the then regional Sites and Monuments Record, and for more academic outputs. When we summed up the situation in the spring of 2010 in The Archaeologist published by the Institute for Archaeologists, Ken Murphy of the Dyfed Archaeological Trust and one of the writers estimated that over 26,000 sites (or assets as we are now advised to call them) had been visited and more than a thousand new schedulings made. In the second quarter of 2007/8, Cadw requested a scoping study of sites and assets recorded in the regional Historic Environment Records (the HER being the successor term to the SMR) that might still need assessment in order to complete the scheduling enhancement programme for prehistoric and Roman sites in the region, taking the study from the earliest times through to around 400 AD. Such a study was required to inform thinking on priorities for scheduling enhancement in the two years up to April 2010 which at that time was the projected date timetabled for the implementation of the proposals in the Heritage Reform White Paper. Though the White Paper was ultimately shelved, the completion of the prehistoric and Roman studies went ahead, and between September 2008 and March 2010 a second series of scheduling enhancement projects (SEPs) were conducted. Reports were submitted covering both themes (e.g. caves, mines and quarries, burnt mounds and Roman settlements) and geographical areas where multiple site types were in evidence (e.g. Vale of Clwyd, Elan Valley, Black Mountains etc). The submission of the final report in March 2010 effectively marked the end of the second phase. In the summer of 2010 a scoping study was conducted by each of the Welsh trusts to examine the range of medieval and early post-medieval (pre-1750) site types that might warrant further assessment with a view to enhancing the schedule of designated sites. Independent of this Cadw had also assessed the types of material evidence relating to the period and developed a list of themes that might usefully be progressed. On completion of the scoping study and as an introduction to the period, a monastic and ecclesiastical project was completed during the later part of 2010/11. The complete series of SEP reports are available as grey literature reports and some at least appear as downloadable pdfs on CATs website. The Project Outline The project on mills and milling commenced in the first quarter of 2011/12, with a staggered work programme across the different trusts. The desk-top assessment utilising the HER and other resources was completed during the year and a start was made on fieldwork. The fieldwork continued in 2012/13 and the project was rounded off by the completion of two reports. The present report defines the desk-top assessment and provides details of mill sites where there has been a substantive addition to the information held in the HER as a result of either that desk-top work or subsequent fieldwork. This will act as a statement on the current state of knowledge of the topics under consideration and provide data for the enhancement of the regional HER. A second report, prepared solely for Cadw, provides a set of recommendations about potential scheduling targets in the region.

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    The scope of the work This report provides information on mills and their associated infrastructure in Powys and the old county of Clwyd (now eastern Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham Maelor. For the purposes of description and location in what follows, the old counties of Breconshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, a small part of Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire have been retained, these of course being the historic counties that were in existence when the mills examined here were in use. There is of course a wide range of mill types distinguished in the records. Included in the HER or defined on early Ordnance Survey maps we encounter: bark (e.g. Rug: 118663), bone (e.g. the Powis estate bone mill near Welshpool: 37418), carding (e.g. Coed Gwgan: 16775), cement (e.g Sarn Mill: 103631), cloth (e.g. Gwynllyn woollen mill: 16941), copper (e.g. Greenfield valley), corn, cotton (e.g. Greenfield valley: 103455), crab apple (e.g. Ruabon crab mill: 104184), flannel (e.g. Llanidloes flannel mill: 20904), flour (e.g. Caergwrle: 103823), gorse (e.g. Felin Eithin; 26666), grist (e.g. Woolpack, Pandy: 12237), gunpowder (e.g. Hendre: 37098), iron (e.g. Bersham: 101247), lead (e.g. Mold: 101690), paper (e.g. Hope: 10380; Greenfield: 118664), saw mills (e.g. Lymore: 9016), and walk mills (e.g. Discoed: 15996). The floruit of many of these types of mill was the 19th and even the 20th century, outside the period remit of this study. Some types of mill were more appropriately considered in the more widely ranging medieval and early post-medieval industry project which ran concurrently with the earlier stages of this project. This mills and milling study focuses primarily on corn mills and fulling mills, and for the former both watermills and windmills are considered (Fig 1).

    Fig 1. Cymdu Mill in Denbighshire (118567). The fate of many mills is epitomised by the ruins of this building, now functionally obsolete. CPAT 3455-0133

    Throughout this report any numbers in brackets, other than dates, are primary record numbers which enable a site or feature to be traced in the Historic Environment Record. Often in the record, a mill will be given one number, its mill pond another, the leat another, and so on. There has, however, been no consistent policy in this respect in the past, and often a mill is described in the HER with no reference to its associated features. On the other hand, there are some records which treat the mill and

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    its features as a single complex, and the new records of previously unreported mills generated as part of this project fall within this category, not so much to differentiate them from older records but for pragmatic reasons because time and resources do not permit the creation of multiple records in this general context. It is not proposed to write a discourse on milling. The development of mills and milling, the physical nature of the mill and the elements of its infrastructure are all covered in a range of books and articles and there is nothing to be gained by repeating such information here, for the present project should not be seen as an academic study likely to generate new insights into the past history of milling. Amongst the more accessible volumes are the works of Martin Watts (2002; 2008), though regrettably his particularly useful volume entitled The Archaeology of Mills and Milling (2002) is remarkably difficult to get hold of, other than through a library. There has been only a limited amount of systematic survey of the mills in eastern and north-eastern Wales. Peter Barton has worked on the mills of Montgomeryshire, and Geoff Ridyard on Radnorshire, but to the best of our knowledge the remaining historic counties have not been examined comprehensively by a mill specialist. At this regional level, Peter Bartons discussion of mills in Montgomeryshire (1999) has been particularly illuminating, a really helpful study which sadly has no parallel in any other part of the region. More locally there are one or two books available that look at groups of mills, such as those along the Ceiriog valley in southern Denbighshire studied by D. L. Davies in his Watermill. Life Story of a Welsh Cornmill (1997). Mills were both water- and wind-driven. In the pre-Conquest era, there seem to have been only watermills, yet considerable numbers existed. Domesday Book in 1086 records over 6000 mills and areas beyond the reach of that great survey must have held many more. Wind power began

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