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Latitude: 52.9578 / 52°57'27"N
Longitude: -3.4045 / 3°24'16"W
OS Eastings: 305747
OS Northings: 340965
OS Grid: SJ057409
Mapcode National: GBR 6N.KMJ1
Mapcode Global: WH780.PX0D
Entry Name: Cynwyd Youth Hostel (former Prince's Yard Factory)
Listing Date: 28 January 2004
Last Amended: 28 January 2004
Source ID: 82406
Location: Off a narrow lane on the SE side of the village, on the S banks of the River Trystion.
Built-Up Area: Cynwyd
Traditional County: Merionethshire
A small former woollen factory, known as Prince's Yard. There is said to have been a mill on the site since the C17, and a spinning and carding mill was recorded here in 1810. The woollen factory was built c1840 and is shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey of 1891. It was famous for its Cynwyd gloves. The factory was owned by the Davies family, who also owned Felin Uchaf and Felin Isaf, located above and below the factory, and all connected by the same mill-race. The water-wheel from Prince's Yard is said to have been moved to Felin Isaf, where a house has now been built. Production at the factory ceased c1900 when Mr Davies retired and the family moved abroad. It became a cheese factory until 1932 when it was purchased by the Youth Hostel Association, and was one of the first youth hostels to open in Britain.
Two-storey 4-window range constructed of large random blocks of dark grey stone. Renewed slate roof and yellow brick end stack to L. Openings to ground floor have segmental brick heads, those above are under the eaves. The entrance is to L of centre and contains a boarded door. Large 16-pane wooden windows, those to far R and upper L replaced by cross-windows. The rear elevation is also 2-storey and 4-window. First floor doorway to R of centre, containing plain C20 door, reached by external stone steps with metal handrail. Beneath the steps is a C20 porch with entrance to ground floor. Wide doorway with segmental brick head, reduced and with a panelled door. Windows as front, but 3 to L replaced with cross-windows. No openings to gable ends. Adjoining the S gable end is the wheel-pit, of stone and formerly with a lean-to roof, and retaining some timbers. The head-race still existing, and the wheel appears to have been overshot.
The front entrance leads into a passage with original straight timber stair immediately to the R, followed by toilets. Beyond this, on the R-hand side, is a wooden partition wall with vertical moulded ribs. Large room to rear L with original plain cross-beams to ceiling supported on cast iron columns. The ceiling is infilled with C20 asbestos panelling. Along the rear wall, beneath the ceiling, is a cast iron line shaft, inserted into bearing boxes. Small C20 brick fireplace to L wall. The upper storey contains the original cross-beams and joists to the ceiling, and also has a cast iron line shaft along the rear wall.
Listed as a rare survival of a C19 woollen factory which retains its character, and which represents an important rural industry in Wales.
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