Melin Berw

There are three windmills along the A5 road through Gaerwen and Pentre Berw and this is the most westerly as well as the highest, being set on a rocky outcrop. It was probably built in the late 18th century and was part of a group of mills called Berw mills, which included two nearby watermills.

In 1841 the tithe maps and apportionments show that the windmill, watermills and surrounding land were owned by Richard Trygarn Griffith Esq of Carreglwyd and occupied by Robert Roberts. The mill was soon being run by William Roberts (who may have been the son of Robert) and his widowed mother Ellen, until sometime after 1851. The ownership of the mills was sold in 1850, when William and Ellen were named as the contacts at the mill. When the mills were put up for sale again in 1853 a Thomas Williams was occupying the mill, and when they were again advertised in 1858, this time for let, Thomas Davies was at the mill. In the 1861 census Samuel Huxley, from Llanbeblig, Caernarfonshire, was the miller.

The mill may have stopped working sometime soon after this, as in 1871 no millers are listed, and "Siop y Felin" was listed as home of David Rowlands, a glass and china dealer, with Tyn y Felin house occupied by a labourer, William Williams. In 1874 William B Jones advertised in the local papers that he was reopening the shop at Berw Mills, selling flour, corn, bran, bacon and other groceries. He ran the shop until the 1890s when Owen Thomas took over. He decided to move on to other ventures in 1901, when he advertised the sale of all the stock-in-trade of the shop, as well as some sheep and cattle, a horse and harnesses, various farm implements, and even a railway coal wagon.

The windmill tower was converted into a dwelling at some point in this period, and it continued to be inhabited through at least 1929. By the mid 1930's it had been abandoned and began to deteriorate. The Muggeridge photos linked to below show the roof intact in 1936, but by 1939 appears to have been lost.

After this it was reroofed and used to raise poultry. In late 2009 a new house was built on the site, with the walls partially encompassing the old mill tower. The photo to the right, taken in December 2009, shows the rear of the mill before restoration. Some pictures on the Anglesey.Info site show the mill inside the under-construction house just before the front wall was erected.

The photo to the left shows the finished house, with the tower heightened and reroofed. The old chimney in front of the house in this photo is on the site of one of the two Berw watermills, which stood at the base of the craig on which the windmill was built. The watermill was powered by a waterfall that still falls down the craig. The chimney may have been associated with a steam engine built to supplement the wind and water power. The second mill once stood downstream across the road, on the site of the Holland Arms Garage.

See other images of this windmill at:

  • Anglesey.Info
  • Images taken in 1936, 1936 and 1939 from the Donald W. Muggeridge Collection of Mill Photographs, University of Kent, Canterbury

More information at:

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Last modified 1 September, 2023