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Corn Mill at Felin Gafnan

A Grade II* Listed Building in Cylch-y-Garn, Isle of Anglesey

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Latitude: 53.411 / 53°24'39"N

Longitude: -4.4918 / 4°29'30"W

OS Eastings: 234476

OS Northings: 393354

OS Grid: SH344933

Mapcode National: GBR HM8P.C8K

Mapcode Global: WH41Y.ZJ7F

Entry Name: Corn Mill at Felin Gafnan

Listing Date: 27 November 2000

Last Amended: 27 November 2000

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 24416

Building Class: Industrial

Location: In an isolated rural location near the coast at Porth y Felin. Set back from the N side of the country road running along the N coast of the island at Cemlyn Bay. The mill is located c2.25km E of th

County: Isle of Anglesey

Community: Cylch-y-Garn

Community: Cylch-y-Garn

Locality: Cemlyn

Traditional County: Anglesey

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A water powered corn mill with one pair of stones. The present building is probably early C19, with mid C19 (1840s) machinery. The water for the mill came from an artificial diversion of the Afon Gafnan inside Cafnan Farm, controlled by a sluice gate. A mill is referred to on this site in the Extent of Anglesey (1352), which mentions 'Caerdegog with hemlets of Cafnan and Llanddygael, and shares in Melin Cathaern' (probably an earlier name for Felin Gafnan).
In N.L.W. Carreglwyd papers dated 1617, there is a mention of 'Kafnant' mill, owned by Mrs Mostyn, wife of Dr Henry Mostyn (widow Elin Lewis of Neuadd). By 1693 the assessment of mise to aid the French war lists Ambrose Lewis as paying 12s(60p) for 'his land and milling'; and the mill is annotated on an estate map by Lewis Morris of the Bodorgan estate, 1724-7 (as one of the neighbouring properties, belonging to 'Mr Lewis of Cemlyn'). Ambrose Lewis was one of the most prominent attorneys of his day, HSA in 1683 and head of the Llysdulas Estate; his son William died without issue and the estate (including Presaddfed and Cemlyn) passed down via his niece to the Dinorben Estate.
There are no buildings recorded at Felin Gafnan on the Tithe Map of the parish of Llanrhywydrys, 1840, although the map is unreliable and does not show all of the buildings in the parish. The Tithe Schedule however, shows that the mill was owned by Lord Dinorben and the miller was Robert Owen; in the 1841 Census Returns he is recorded as being assisted by a labourer and also has a female servant. By the early C20 the mill was in the ownership of the Carreglwyd estate, and was recorded as disused at the time of the break up and sale of the estate in 1918. The mill is now owned by the National Trust.


Two storey overshot watermill with attached 1-storey mill store set at a lower level. Rubble walls with roofs of small slates, partially grouted. Door to mill offset to R side of W gable wall; a boarded door with segmentally-arched rubble voussoir head. Narrow window to centre of gable at 1st floor, a pointed arch opening with gritstone voussoirs, re-used from a composite millstone, and dripcourse. Small rectangular window set under the eaves to L (N) wall. An old millstone forms the threshold to the mill. Waterwheel to E gable end, in poor condition with rotted wheelshaft, buckets and sole boards. The mill operated with the mill race water flowing over the top of the wheel mill (overshot), but was diverted under the wheel when it was not in use. Attached mill store has doorway to R (in angle with main mill building) and single ventilation slit at W gable apex.


Two storeys, with one pair of stones to the 1st floor. The internal machinery is complete and all of one period, probably the 1840s. Local features include the carrying over of the teeth on the periphery of the spur wheel onto the upper face, so that a layshaft can be driven to activate the hoist and ancillary machines. The downstream runner stone is of a composite structure similar to that used in the arched lintel to the W gable wall, whilst the upstream runner stone is a normal French burrstone, which has lost its maker's plate. Cobble floor and timber hayracks to store.

Reasons for Listing

Listed at II* as a substantially intact early C19 watermill, retaining much internal machinery dating from the 1840s, and part of the waterwheel, and which incorporates some unusual features, such as the arrangement of the layshaft drive.

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