Melin Cefn Coch

This truncated mill tower stands alongside the main A5025 on the northwest corner of Anglesey just beyond Cemaes and the village of Tregele. Its dates of origin and closure are not known, but it was built sometime before 1794 when the miller was known to be John Prichard. The mill is mentioned in a court case in 1832 when two branches of the well known Anglesey landowning family, the Meyricks, were in dispute over the ownership to the part of the Cefn Coch estate surrounding the windmill. The mill is mentioned on page 181 of the court report.

By the early 1840s it was owned by Edmund Edward Meyrick Esq and occupied by Hugh Rowlands, who gives his occupation in the census as farmer, rather than miller. In fact, in most censuses no one living at the mill or in the immediate area gives their occupation as miller, suggesting that the running of the mill was just a small part of the daily tasks of the farmer. By the 1850s Hugh Hughes was the farmer at Melin Cefn Coch, followed by his widow Ann and their son Thomas in the 1860s through to the 1890s, after which it was taken over by Thomas' widow Ann. By 1911 the mill house was unoccupied. The mill was probably out of use before 1901, when it is mentioned in estate sales documents as "Old Windmill".

This area was a hive of mill activity in the 19th century, with a number of watermills strung along the nearby Afon Cafnan. Most of these were involved in woollen production, with the waterwheels driving the machinery doing the spinning, weaving and dying as well as washing the final cloth. Each step took place at different mills spread along 1/2 mile of the stream. After washing the wool was hung to dry in a windmill-like tower, which can be seen in this picture, taken in 1936, from the Muggeridge collection.

The stream also supported two water-driven corn mills, including Melin Cafnan, which stands at the mouth of the Afon Cafnan on the north coast. It can be seen from the Anglesey Coastal Path and is now owned by the National Trust, although it is not open to the public. It now stands in the shadow of Wylfa nuclear power station - old power source contrasting with new.

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About Anglesey History

This is a web site developed by Dr Warren Kovach to celebrate the history of the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales.


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Last modified 1 September, 2023