Melin y Gof (Stanley Mill)
This mill has the distinction of being the last working windmill on Anglesey until Llynon Mill was restored. It stands looking out over the Inland Sea near Trearddur Bay, and derives the name from the local landowning family the Stanleys.
The date of 1826 scratched into the stonework gives a possible date of the beginning of construction, and it was finished a year or two later. The earliest known miller is Morris Edwards, who was listed as the occupier of the windmill and surrounding farmland at Ynys y Gof (46 acres total) in the 1840s tithe apportionment. The landowner was Lord Stanley of Alderley and Penrhos. In the 1841 census the mill was being run by Morris' younger son Thomas Morris, with the older son Robert Morris running the farm (they both adopted patronymic names, taking their father's given name as their surname). Morris himself, who was 70 at the time, was actually living in Llanbeulan where he was a miller, probably at Melin Treban watermill. He died in 1848 after moving back to Ynys y Gof.
Thomas Morris moved on to farming in Llanfigael but Robert Morris remained at Ynys y Gof until his death in 1881. He hired various millers through the years to run the mill. After his death his widow Jane continued running the farm while Owen Owens took over the mill, assisted by his father who lived at the nearby house Neilldu.
Owen ran the mill until the late 1890s, when it was taken over by Hugh Jones. He was the son of Owen Jones, who was a gardener at the Penrhos Estate. Hugh and his wife Jane had three children, Catherine, Owen and Hughie. They also brought up a nephew, Alfred Edward Jones, who was taken in by the family when less than three months old. Hughie and his cousin Alfred assisted in running the mill until Hugh's death in 1933, after which they took it over until it closed.
The Times newspaper carried a photograph of the mill in its 16 September 1936 edition noting that it had just closed, being the last working windmill on Anglesey. However, according to an interview with Alfred shortly before his death in 1987 (quoted in the Guise & Lees Windmills of Anglesey book), the mill didn't actually close until November 1938, when the partially rotten cap blew off when a sudden storm arose overnight. The Muggeridge photos from 1934 and 1936 below show the mill and sails in good working condition. The 1939 photo show a great change.
Hughie and Alfred continued living at the mill, working a as joiner and a stonemason respectively. Attempts were made early on to raise money to restore the mill to working order, led by the windmill section of the Ancient Monument Society. They had raised £40 of the £700 target by September 1940, but the fundraising was abandoned because of the war. The money raised was instead given to the Stanley Hospital in Holyhead.
The mill deteriorated through the decades, but was converted to a dwelling in the 1960s. An additional level was added to the top, with windows all around, so that the new owner could admire the views in all directions. In 2020 the mill was put up for sale, with a suggested price of £475,000. The report in Wales Online has plenty of photos of the interior.
See other images of this windmill at:
- Windmill World
- Image taken in 1934, 1936 and 1939 from the Donald W. Muggeridge Collection of Mill Photographs, University of Kent, Canterbury
More information at:
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