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The Woollen Mill

A Grade II* Listed Building in Maesycwmmer, Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.6465 / 51°38'47"N

Longitude: -3.2235 / 3°13'24"W

OS Eastings: 315444

OS Northings: 194894

OS Grid: ST154948

Mapcode National: GBR HW.7FWY

Mapcode Global: VH6DF.2WR6

Plus Code: 9C3RJQWG+HJ

Entry Name: The Woollen Mill

Listing Date: 31 July 1980

Last Amended: 10 September 1999

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 13567

Building Class: Industrial

Location: Backing onto the River Rhymney beneath the Hengoed railway viaduct. Accessed from the driveway to Maesycwmmer House

County: Caerphilly

Community: Maesycwmmer (Maes-y-cwmwr)

Community: Maesycwmmer

Built-Up Area: Ystrad Mynach

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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The flannel mill was built c1850, possibly on the site of a printing press and office, in the grounds of Maesycwmmer House. The house was built in 1826 (and subsequently rebuilt c1890) for the Rev. John Jenkins of Hengoed (d. 1853). He produced religious texts at Maesycwmmer until 1831 when he moved his printing press to Cardiff. The buildings on the site of the mill were referred to as 'shop, cottages and garden' occupied by Jacob Thomas, on the Bedwas tithe apportionment of 1841. It is possible that the central 2-storey range of the mill was present at that time.

Although the exact date for the founding of the mill is not known, spinners and weavers first appear in census returns for Maesycwmmer in 1851. The mill is shown in its present form, beneath the viaduct, in an engraving of c1860. Meetings of the English Baptist church took place in the Woollen Mill in 1861 before a chapel was built. Shoe-making was undertaken on the upper floors at least in the early days. The mill changed ownership several times, but William Lewis of Whitchurch, Glamorgan, was recorded as woollen cloth manufacturer in 1881 and 1891. It was taken over in 1902 by Morgan Jones, whose family had produced cloth in Bargoed since 1750. A lease of 1904 referred to rights to use a weir. The 1st and 2nd edition Ordnance Surveys of 1885 and 1901 show this weir to the N of the mill, with the head-race running towards its NW side. A tail race runs W to the river, S of a narrow rear range which may have enclosed the wheel. A sales ledger survives from the time of the 1914-18 war and shows that cloth was sold to clients as far away as Kent and Scotland. The last recorded sale was in 1920 and some of the machinery was apparently disposed of. Subsequently, the mill was used as a depot for sorting and storing wool.


Symmetrical 5-bay 3-storey mill, with lower flanking ranges to N. Rubble stone with quoins under a slate roof. Stone stack to N end with paired shafts. The openings have shallow segmental heads, yellow brick dressings and stone sills. Planked doors and small-pane iron glazed windows. The front faces E and has central doors to all 3 storeys, possibly added when the mill was a storage depot. Double doors to ground floor are enlarged under a concrete lintel. Hoist bracket towards eaves. The doors are flanked by pairs of windows. Additional window R of ground floor entrance in infill of former doorway. Two ornate iron ceiling roses have been fixed as tie plates. Metal sign reading 'The woollen mill' fixed to L of front. The S gable end is 2-window, with additional windows to attic. Wide doorway to R under renewed flat brick lintel. Rear has windows similar to front.

Two adjoining 2-storey ranges to N, the 1st continuous with the mill and the 2nd at a slight angle. The range adjoining the mill has a tripartite multi-pane window flanked by panelled doors under segmental heads, of voussoirs to L and brick to R. Double doors to far R under flat lintel. The upper storey is 3-window with 12-pane hornless sashes under segmental brick heads. The N range has 3 windows to lower storey with red brick heads while the upper storey is 4-window. Wide double doors inserted to L with gabled doorway above. Further gabled door to upper storey R. N gable end with 2 windows to upper storey and one in attic. Door and window offset to lower R. Small single storey
range to rear of central range.


No access to interior at time of inspection. There is said to be no machinery left, and the wheel apparently went long ago.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade II* for its exceptional survival in S Wales as a little altered C19 flannel mill with good architectural detail. Group value with Hengoed Viaduct.

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Other nearby listed buildings

  • II* Hengoed Viaduct (partly in Maesycwmmer Community)
    A prominent landscape feature spanning the Rhymney Valley between Maesycwmmer and Hengoed.
  • II* Hengoed Viaduct
    A prominent landscape feature spanning the Rhymney valley between Maesycwmmer and Hengoed.
  • II Footbridge at Hengoed Station
    At Hengoed Station.
  • II* Tabor United Reformed Church
    On prominent site fronting Tabor Road with North Avenue to the rear.
  • II Capel Hengoed (also known as Hengoed Baptist Chapel)
    Situated above Hengoed, close to Cefn Hengoed; set back from hill road that runs north from Ystrad Mynach. Burial ground to front with good C19 monuments.
  • II Church of Holy Trinity
    A472 skirts the W side of Ystrad centre; church is set back from the road on a knoll within a very hilly walled churchyard which falls away steeply to W and S, main entry at SE through lychgate.
  • II War Memorial
    Just off Caerphilly Road in a square to the north of Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, approx. 50m W of the Old Fire Station (rec no 13569).
  • II Old Fire Station
    Originally situated off Park Road but now resited in grounds of Caerphilly County Borough Council offices at Ystrad Fawr, to W of main house.

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