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Report - Ceulan Mill, Ceredigion, July 2011

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Louisab, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Louisab

    Louisab 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 11, 2011
    Likes Received:
    This “explore†provided many firsts for me,
    1st explore (of any type although this was solo)
    1st time of entering a property by any way other than via an open front door
    1st tumble (lets gloss over that one shall we?!)
    1st time experimenting with a little bit of painting with light
    1st report on here :)

    I have to admit that although the mill has 2 floors and an attic I only explored the lower floor. The treads on the ladder to the 1st floor looked to be lollypop stick thin and I didn’t fancy breaking either the ladder or me! I suppose I will kick myself in weeks to come for not going upstairs but I don’t posses your Ninja Climbing Skills – you guys would have probably been up there in a jiffy! Hey ho, I suppose it’s a good reason to go back ;)

    I had done a fair bit of research re the mill before I set off on my epic drive through Wales but not wanting to risk “Standard Answer No 3†(the only one way to find out if it is there ....is to go and take a look!) from you guys here by asking if anyone knew about it, I decided that if it ended up being a big fail day then at least I would have had a lovely day out! Anyway, I’m very glad I went - I enjoyed the mill hugely, enjoyed hunting out the history and background far more than I expected to and had the bonus of seeing 6 or 7 Red Kites enjoying the thermals.

    To avoid Standard Answer No 5 (please re-size to 800 pixels as per the bit you read when you signed up!) I have used the preview – and hopefully this should post ok
    In case of Standard Answer No 6 (“the search button is your friendâ€) – I have used the search as best as I can and can’t find a report for this place, so either there isn’t one or (far more likely) my search skills are pants!!

    The history.
    Ceulan Woollen Mill was one of 5 woollen mills in Tal-y-Bont and was situated on the banks of the river Ceulan (the other 4 were located on the Leri) It was built in 1847 by the Morris family and although the exact date that production/operation actually started is vague it was definitely working in 1860. Due to the success of the mill an extension was added in 1880.
    The water wheel is still on the side of the mill, although as image 2 (just about) shows, it is not in great shape and is barely visible. The iron hub of the wheel is marked J Edgar Dublin and has 12 wooden spokes. The iron rim is marked Ellis Foundry 1891. The wheel was an overshot although the wooden trough carrying the water to the top of the wheel is no longer in situ.
    The wheel provided power for the factory and was the first provider of electricity to the houses of Tal-y-Bont which was the first rural village in Cardiganshire/Ceredigion to have any form of electricity. The clergy at Bethel Chapel decided to do away with the oil lamps and discussion was had about carbide lamps being used instead. Mr Morris announced he could provide electricity for the chapel, the houses and the main road. The parish council paid £10.00 per annum for street lighting and houses were charged 5 shillings (25p) for one 60W lamp which then cost a further seven shillings and sixpence for 3 months electricity supply. Mr Morris turned off the power at 10.30pm each night believing that was late enough for folk to be awake!
    To meet the increasing demand for electricity a peloton wheel was purchased and placed at the other end of the factory to add to the power generated by the main wheel (the peloton is in image 3 below).

    The factory produced cloth and flannel mainly for shirts for farmers and coal miners throughout mid and south Wales but production and profits suffered during the war. Although things picked up after the war ultimately it was unable to compete with the larger factories that were significantly bigger and were using (what was then) modern new machinery which was more efficient. After diversifying and turning part of the mill into a shop to sell the products directly to the public the mill eventually closed in 1962 although it still remains within the same family. A number of years ago the current owner tried to pass the property and machinery to the National Trust for preservation but as the owner was unable to provide some of the funding to restore/repair the mill the National Trust were unable to take the property.

    1. The mill - the waterwheel is to the right of the building as you look at it here










    Be brutal with the feedback on my first post, I prefer direct and honest!

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