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Blackpool Mill

A Grade II* Listed Building in Martletwy, Pembrokeshire

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Latitude: 51.7953 / 51°47'43"N

Longitude: -4.8147 / 4°48'52"W

OS Eastings: 205999

OS Northings: 214489

OS Grid: SN059144

Mapcode National: GBR CS.Y2DJ

Mapcode Global: VH2P4.H4JJ

Plus Code: 9C3QQ5WP+44

Entry Name: Blackpool Mill

Listing Date: 21 June 1971

Last Amended: 11 November 1997

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 6090

Building Class: Industrial

Location: On the left bank of the Eastern Cleddau 1 km SW of Canaston Bridge.

County: Pembrokeshire

Community: Martletwy

Community: Martletwy

Locality: Blackpool

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

Tagged with: Building

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Built in 1813 by Nathaniel Phillips, owner of the Slebech Estate, on the site of the former Blackpool ironworks. Water for the wheel was brought from a distance of 0.5 km. The last section of the leat was contrived to approach the S face of the mill nearly on its central axis, for architectural effect. The mill itself is also designed for symmetry, with a central main entrance and with its main block flanked by equal low wings at each end. The original water-wheel was beneath the main block of the mill: a wheel of 4.5 m diameter and 3.5 m in width, on a wrought-iron shaft.

In 1842 John Butler became tenant of Blackpool Farm and Mill. He had problems with the water wheel; marks from the original wheel scraping against the stonework are visible in the basement. He also had trouble from Rebecca rioters, who destroyed the floodgates in 1843.

At the turn of the century it was decided to renew the milling machinery and to remove the water-wheel in favour of a turbine. The new machinery was installed by Armfield of Ringwood, and continued in use until after the second World War. In 1958 the mill was converted to electricity.

In 1968 a programme of restoration of the mill was commenced by Lady Victoria Dashwood to convert the mill to a tourist attraction. The left wing was converted to be the public entrance and shop, the right wing to be the tea-room. The mill machinery including the turbine was guarded, displayed and interpreted. One window of the left wing was converted to be a doorway and the main front door canopy was removed.


The main elevation facing SE is of four storeys plus an attic, with a range of five windows. The attic is lit only by windows in the gable ends plus a recent central roof-light at the front in the place of an earlier small dormer. At each end of the building is a two-storey wing, two windows, set back from the front elevation but in a continuous elevation at the rear. Rendered on all faces; slate roofs with coped gables. All the windows are of sash type with 16 panes, with recessed exposed frames. Some of the sashes have been replaced, many are of the type without horns and probably original. Slate sills. Central original double-doors, framed and boarded with a large fanlight within a dressed limestone surround. Three steps up to the door, which are unlikely to be original. There are the marks of a former canopy above.

As the rear elevation is all in one plane the fenestration of the main block and the wings is continuously spaced as a range of nine windows. In the ground storey the third and seventh openings are doors, probably altered from windows as the head height is the same.

The mill stands on a thin plinth over a basement podium. The basement is about 0.5 m high at the front but about 5 m high overlooking the river at the rear. The basement below plinth level overlooking the river is in regularly coursed hammer-dressed stonework with a large central archway for the tail water from the wheel and a smaller blocked archway to the left.


The main roof is of four king-post trusses with two purlins each side, in pine. The struts to the principals are kept high to preserve headroom. Sack-hoist pulley centrally in the roof apex. The roofs of the two side extensions are of two bays on queen-post trusses.

The attic floor is carried on four timber cross-girders supported by timber posts in the storey beneath. Plain pine single floorboarding in variable widths without cross-tongues. The first, second and third floors are all similar but each is carried on 110 mm diameter cast-iron columns in the storey beneath. The ground floor is also carried on timber girders, with two longitudinal ones supported on stone piers and six trimmed cross-girders at positions where machinery loads are carried.

The staircases have turned storey-posts in oak. Shaped pine handrails on square balusters; closed strings.

The machinery consists of a vertical-axis turbine by Armfields of Vale of Avon Ironworks, Ringwood, in the basement, driving a lay-shaft at ground floor to the four stones. The four sets of stones are at first floor level. The cast-iron hurst frames at ground floor level have handwheels for the adjustment of runner pressure.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as an exceptionally fine industrial building in the functional tradition, imposingly situated. It survives virtually intact and includes a full working set of machinery.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II* Blackpool Bridge
    Crossing the Eastern Cleddau adjacent to Blackpool Mill, closest to the highest navigable point of the river.
  • II* Blackpool Bridge
    Across the Eastern Cleddau adjacent to Blackpool Mill, at the highest navigable point of the river. The bridge is half in Martletwy Community and half in Slebech Community.
  • II High Toch Farmhouse
    S of A40(T) 1.5 km W of Canaston Bridge
  • II Milepost near High Toch Farm
    On A40(T) road nearly opposite to entrance to High Toch farm.
  • II Newton North Church
    In an isolated position reached across fields about 1 km W of Newhouse Farm.
  • II Castell Coch
    Listed as an exceptionally fine industrial building in the functional tradition, imposingly situated. It survives virtually intact and includes a full working set of machinery.
  • II Ridgeway
    1 km N of Canaston Bridge, to the W of the minor road to Llawhaden

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