Melin Llanddyfnan (Pen y Fan)
This mill is off the beaten track, on a minor road to Llanbedregoch. It stands on high ground overlooking the mansion Plas Llanddyfnan and with views of Snowdonia.
A date of 1750 carved on an interior beam suggests that was when it was built. An estate map from 1748 shows a windmill at this site, and in March 1749 William Bulkeley noted in his diaries that previous mill, a post mill, burnt to the ground. A post mill is a windmill consisting of a wooden building mounted on a post, so that the whole building turns to face the wind.
In 1830 the miller was Lewis Owen. In that year legal papers show that he was bound over to answer a paternity charge by Ellin Jones of Llanddaniel. The next known miller was John Gray, the occupier of the mill in the 1841 tithe apportionment. The owner of the land was Elizabeth Lewis of Plas Llanddyfnan. John was the son of Thomas Grey, who ran the watermill at Pwllfanogl, near Llanfairpwll. His brother Thomas was also a miller at various places, including Melin yr Ogof, as were three of Thomas' sons.
John Gray managed the windmill, with the assistance of William Williams, until the 1850s, when he moved on to the mainland to run mills in Aber and later Llanllechid. William also moved on to work mills elsewhere, first to Penmynydd and later Penygarnedd near Pentraeth.
After their departure the mill was run by Owen Jones for a few years, followed by William and David Hughes (who may have been brothers). But by 1881 it had been taken over by Robert Owen. As a young man he had been a servant for Williams Williams of Ysgobor Esgob, Gwalchmai, owner of the water and windmills there. He and his family were subsequently farmers in Llanfair Mathefarn Eithaf before returning to milling. He continued running the mill until his death in 1908, aged 75.
His widow and two daughters continued living at the mill until at least 1911, but there is no indication in the census of them or anyone else working the mill, so it may have ceased milling on Robert's death. By 1918 it was marked on Ordnance Survey maps as "Old Windmill", presumably disused.
By the 1950s it had come under the ownership of Francis Wilson Q.C., the Recorder of Chester. He restored it, for use as a viewing platform rather than a dwelling, by roofing it and installing floors, stairways and electricity.
On 15 May 2007 this mill appeared in Properties section of the Daily Telegraph newspaper as a "Wrecks with potential" property, with planning permission for conversion to a dwelling, with an asking price of £100,000. It was subsequently sold and an amended planning permission application was filed by the new owner in 2008. By 2011 renovation had been completed to turn it into a dwelling with a sizable extension and lots of windows overlooking the magnificent views of Anglesey and Snowdonia. In 2018 it was put up for sale; photos of the interior can be seen in this newspaper article.
See other images of this windmill at:
- Image taken in 1936, from the Donald W. Muggeridge Collection of Mill Photographs, University of Kent, Canterbury
More information at:
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