Melin Adda (Pentrefelin)
This windmill stands at the outskirts of Amlwch, next to the leisure centre. It is currently used as a dwelling, having been first restored for living use in the mid-1970s (see photo below). It has since been renovated, with a new roof and balcony added along with a set of crossed timbers to emulate the original windmill sails.
It probably dates from the 1790s and was built near the site of two other much earlier water powered mills. One of these water mills, also called Melin Adda, dated back to at least 1352 when it was mentioned in the Extent of Anglesey.
The land around the windmill was ultimately owned by the Bishop of Bangor and was leased to one of the local gentry, John Paynter of Maes Llwyn, and John Jones, a local lad who was by then a merchant in Liverpool. The Paynter family were originally from Cornwall and had come to Amlwch in the 18th century to become involved in Parys Mountain mining. In 1815 Paynter and Jones leased out a 6/16 interest in the mill to Hugh Jones, who probably then ran the mill, and another 7/16 interest to a group of seven merchants, mariners and a surgeon.
In the 1840 tithe applotment books Melin Adda and the surrounding land were owned by Richard Jones and occupied by Joseph Jones. The later only ran the mill for a short while, in between being a mine agent at Parys Mountain and at mines in Snowdonia. He was also later well known as a literary figure and antiquary who was involved in local eisteddfodau.
By 1841 the census shows the mill being run by the mill agent Owen Lewis and miller Owen Owens, with three other millers living in the houses surrounding the mill. Leases and trade directories show Lewis & Owens running the mill into the 1850s. In 1851 one of the millers, Owen Hughes, met an unfortunate end when he was hit on the head by the windmill's sails.
In the 1860s the mill was run by a younger Owen Owens, possibly the son of the previous owner. He was assisted by at least three local millers, plus a mill's clerk, David Prichard. However, in 1863 his wife Elizabeth died at the early age of 49. Shortly after he ran into financial problems, the mill was auctioned off and he was declared bankrupt.
The mill was again auctioned in 1867 and was then run by John Williams through to the early 1870s. Subsequently it was owned by William Jones, who had previously run Melin y Borth near Amlwch port. He died in 1884, aged 57, and the mill was taken over by his son Owen, who died tragically young, aged 35, in 1889.
Following Owen's death the mill was run by John Jones until its closure in 1912. During his tenure it seems to have been a busy mill, as there were always five or six assistant millers living nearby. But he was in his 70s at the time and may have retired or died. By 1929 was just an empty shell, according to An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Anglesey.
See other images of this windmill at:
- Windmill World
- Image taken in 1936, from the Donald W. Muggeridge Collection of Mill Photographs, University of Kent, Canterbury
- People's Collection Wales, a modern aerial photo
View Windmills of Anglesey in a larger map