Melin y Borth
This mill, overlooking the harbour of Amlwch Port, is unusual on Anglesey by being constructed mainly of brick, possibly due to the presence nearby of a brickworks. It is also the tallest, being over 60 feet tall with seven floors. The mill was not only tall but also spacious inside, with a diameter of 30 feet. This provided plenty of room for storage as well as four pairs of millstones. When first built it was boasted that 70 bushels of corn could be ground in an hour.
The mill was built in 1816 by a prominent local family, the Paynters. The family originally came from Cornwall and moved to Amlwch in the second half of the 18th century. John Paynter was a corn merchant at the time, and after his death in 1843 his house (Maesllwyn) and business interests passed to his nephew John Wynne Paynter.
The actual running of the mill was done by a variety of Jones, including three unrelated Williams. The original miller was Owen Jones, son of Thomas Jones of Llynon mill. He moved back to Llynon in the late 1820s, after which Robert Jones took over. In 1850 William Jones, a corn merchant on Queen Street, Amlwch, was listed in the Slaters 1850 directory as a miller, as was John Wynne Paynter, so he may have been a partner in the running of the mill.
Robert Jones was the miller until his death in 1861. In 1863 John Wynne Paynter advertised the letting of the mill, noting that it had seven pairs of stones, machinery and a 20 horse power steam engine. By 1871 it was being run by another William Jones. He had previously been the miller at Felin Manaw, and before that had been a miller in Llechylched, possibly working at the Melin Treban watermill. Tragically, his son, also called William, was killed by a lightning strike in 1876. After this he moved to running Melin Adda.
The mill was taken over by yet another William Jones, who ran it until the 1890s, when it passed to one of his employees, Owen Pritchard, who had moved to Amlwch from Kidwelly, Cardiganshire. Owen ran it until around 1910, when it was closed and the mill stones and other equipment were auctioned off. Owen also moved to running Melin Adda.
The 1911 census shows Griffith Prytherch living at Mona Mill, but he was listed as being a fruit dealer, presumably using the mill buildings as a warehouse to store fruit coming into the nearby harbour. In 1918 the mill and surrounding properties were auctioned off after the death of John Wynne Paynter. By 1929 the mill was an empty shell. The numerous buildings surrounding the mill during its working life also disappeared during this time. The land on which it stands is now owned by the Anglesey County Council, which has taken steps to halt its decline.
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
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