Melin Llidiart (Capel Coch)
This mill is called Melin Llidiart in Guise and Lees Windmills of Anglesey book, but appears to be more commonly known as the Capel Coch mill, or Melin Llwydiarth. It is one of several built on Anglesey during the droughts of the mid 1700s. William Bulkeley's diary notes that this mill started grinding grain on 24 October 1738.
In 1821 Llidiart Twrcelyn, the property on which the mill was built, was leased by landowner William Prichard Lloyd to William Rowlands. By 1839 it was owned by Richard Rowlands, who left it in his will to his son, also called Richard. He was listed as both owner and occupier in the 1842 tithe apportionment. The accompanying tithe map has a little diagram of the mill, which is unusual because most buildings on the tithe maps are depicted as simple rectangles.
In 1853 the mill was put up for auction and was bought by John Griffiths of Llanfechell. The auction notice states that the mill, as well as the adjoining dwelling house and drying kiln, were recently built. However, this doesn't fit in with Bulkeley's diary entry that dates it to 1738. Perhaps the original mill was a wooden post mill and it had been recently replaced by a stone-built tower mill. Post mills were mounted on posts that allowed the whole building to be turned to face into the wind, but they were small, unstable in storms and susceptible to fire. Nearby Melin Llanddyfnan is known to have been built on the site of an older post mill after a fire. Given that the drawing of the mill on the 1842 tithe map shown above clearly shows a tower mill, this rebuilding must have happened before then.
Griffiths owned the mill for just four years before putting it up for sale. By 1861 the miller was Hugh Prichard, who ran the mill until his death in 1885. It was taken over by his widow Jane, who hired Hugh Hughes as miller.
The mill was damaged in storms at the end of the 19th century, when its cap and sails were destroyed, and it slowly became overgrown and deteriorated. The land around it was cleared towards the end of the 20th century so it stood prominently again.
Through the years several planning permission applications have been submitted to convert it to a dwelling. In 2011 it was up for sale with planning permission to convert it and add a two storey extension. Drawings of the proposed development can still be seen on the vendor's site. Since then it has been sold for £135,000 and the tower has been roofed and refurbished in a somewhat different style than the original drawings. In summer 2017 work was still ongoing in building the two-story extension.
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
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