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Cynwyd Youth Hostel (former Prince's Yard Factory)

A Grade II Listed Building in Cynwyd, Denbighshire

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Latitude: 52.9578 / 52°57'27"N

Longitude: -3.4045 / 3°24'16"W

OS Eastings: 305747

OS Northings: 340965

OS Grid: SJ057409

Mapcode National: GBR 6N.KMJ1

Mapcode Global: WH780.PX0D

Entry Name: Cynwyd Youth Hostel (former Prince's Yard Factory)

Listing Date: 28 January 2004

Last Amended: 28 January 2004

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 82406

Location: Off a narrow lane on the SE side of the village, on the S banks of the River Trystion.

County: Denbighshire

Community: Cynwyd

Community: Cynwyd

Built-Up Area: Cynwyd

Traditional County: Merionethshire

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A small former woollen factory, known as Prince's Yard. There is said to have been a mill on the site since the C17, and a spinning and carding mill was recorded here in 1810. The woollen factory was built c1840 and is shown on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey of 1891. It was famous for its Cynwyd gloves. The factory was owned by the Davies family, who also owned Felin Uchaf and Felin Isaf, located above and below the factory, and all connected by the same mill-race. The water-wheel from Prince's Yard is said to have been moved to Felin Isaf, where a house has now been built. Production at the factory ceased c1900 when Mr Davies retired and the family moved abroad. It became a cheese factory until 1932 when it was purchased by the Youth Hostel Association, and was one of the first youth hostels to open in Britain.


Two-storey 4-window range constructed of large random blocks of dark grey stone. Renewed slate roof and yellow brick end stack to L. Openings to ground floor have segmental brick heads, those above are under the eaves. The entrance is to L of centre and contains a boarded door. Large 16-pane wooden windows, those to far R and upper L replaced by cross-windows. The rear elevation is also 2-storey and 4-window. First floor doorway to R of centre, containing plain C20 door, reached by external stone steps with metal handrail. Beneath the steps is a C20 porch with entrance to ground floor. Wide doorway with segmental brick head, reduced and with a panelled door. Windows as front, but 3 to L replaced with cross-windows. No openings to gable ends. Adjoining the S gable end is the wheel-pit, of stone and formerly with a lean-to roof, and retaining some timbers. The head-race still existing, and the wheel appears to have been overshot.


The front entrance leads into a passage with original straight timber stair immediately to the R, followed by toilets. Beyond this, on the R-hand side, is a wooden partition wall with vertical moulded ribs. Large room to rear L with original plain cross-beams to ceiling supported on cast iron columns. The ceiling is infilled with C20 asbestos panelling. Along the rear wall, beneath the ceiling, is a cast iron line shaft, inserted into bearing boxes. Small C20 brick fireplace to L wall. The upper storey contains the original cross-beams and joists to the ceiling, and also has a cast iron line shaft along the rear wall.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a rare survival of a C19 woollen factory which retains its character, and which represents an important rural industry in Wales.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Minafon (Former Pentre Llawen Woollen Factory)
    Located near the SE edge of the village, the N side facing the River Trystion and the S side fronting a lane. The W entrance faces towards Pont Trystion.
  • II ,1,,Cynwyd,,CLWYD,
    Located in a prominent position in the angle of 2 lanes, facing Pont Trystion. At the S end of the village and reached off the E side of the B4401.
  • II ,2,,Cynwyd,,CLWYD,
    Located in a prominent position in the angle of 2 lanes, facing Pont Trystion. At the S end of the village and reached off the E side of the B4401.
  • II Pont Trystion
    Located towards the SE of the village and carrying a lane NE from the B4401.
  • II Pont Cynwyd
    The bridge carries the B4401 N-S through Cynwyd village.
  • II Y Bwthyn
    Reached off the E side of the B4401, and part of a terrace which joins the Blue Lion Hotel.
  • II The Blue Lion Hotel
    Prominently sited at the crossroads in the centre of the village, at a splayed angle to the road.
  • II* Pont Dyffrdwy
    Located immediately W of Cynwyd village, and carrying a minor road over the River Dee.

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