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Latitude: 52.0259 / 52°1'33"N
Longitude: -4.3993 / 4°23'57"W
OS Eastings: 235483
OS Northings: 239101
OS Grid: SN354391
Mapcode National: GBR DB.GHFZ
Mapcode Global: VH3KN.PBMT
Plus Code: 9C4Q2JG2+87
Entry Name: Main Mill Building at Museum of the Welsh Woollen Industry.
Listing Date: 28 July 1999
Last Amended: 15 August 2001
Source ID: 22104
Building Class: Industrial
Location: Museum complex located to N end of Drefach village, to W of the Drefach-Henllan road. Main building is below road level, N of office buildings at site entrance.
Locality: Drefach Felindre
Built-Up Area: Waungilwen
Traditional County: Carmarthenshire
The building was formerly part of Cambrian Mill, built by David Lewis between 1902, and 1912, on a site already used for a woollen mill since c.1840. The southerly range was rebuilt after a fire in 1919. By the later C19, the middle Teifi Valley had supplanted Newtown, Powys ("the Leeds of Wales") as the most important area in Wales for the manufacture of woollen textiles. Dre-fach Felindre (" the Huddersfield of Wales") became the most important centre for the industry, thriving on the provision of flannel cloths for the expanding industrial areas of South Wales, and also supplying customers in London, Birmingham, and Glasgow. Cambrian Mill became the largest and most important of the Dre-fach Mills. Although a water wheel provided power for milling and washing equipment, a gas engine provided the main power for most of the machinery. The slump of the 1920s and 1930s devastated the industry. Cambrian Mills changed hands in the 1950s, but production continued. In the 1970s the mill became the Museum of the Welsh Woollen Industry, whose aim was to present the history of an important rural industry in the authentic location of a large comprehensive woollen mill.
Woollen mill building of the earlier C20, comprising 2 parallel blocks, aligned roughly NW-SE. S block is L-plan. The space between the blocks is currently roofed over. 2 storey and loft in rubble stone with slated, pitched roofs and cast iron rainwater goods. Large windows, generally with red brick dressings and arched heads - mainly 16-pane windows with swivelling upper lights. Elevation to yard has 16 bays. 1st floor, 9th bay has boarded timber loading door with gabled attic, further similar loading door above. Ground floor, 2nd, 5th, and 11th bays are doorways. Beneath 15th window is cast iron overshot waterwheel. L (W) gable end has later lean-to in brick and attic loading door. To L, 2-storey block with monopitched upper storey, in angle with parallel N range, also in brick. To L of this, parallel N block has doors to L, windows on each floor to R. Gable end has 3 windows at 1st floor level, 2 smaller loft windows, and 2 windows to ground floor outer bays. Rear elevation of 12 bays, with similar glazing to S front. E gable has 12-pane window to attic and loading doors to each floor, set to L. SE return of S block has, to 1st floor, 7 square 12-pane windows, apparently reduced in depth, with red brick dressings. Ground floor has similar 12-pane windows with yellow brick dressings. Slate sills throughout. Blocked former window located 4th bay from L.
The buildings retain early C20 roof structures to lofts, and wooden floors and beams, strengthened in places with iron stanchions. Ground floor has quarry tiles. Power shafts remain in situ. The machinery is a mixture of units from the working mill, (but said to have been imported in 1950s), including mule with 400 spindles to 1st floor rear block, and museum exhibits intended to illustrate the history of the woollen industry.
Included as integral part of Cambrian Mill, the most ambitious surviving complex of woollen mill buildings in the area once known as "The Huddersfield of Wales". Group value with other listed buildings on this site.
Other nearby listed buildings