Report - - Aberdaron Corn Mill (Aberdaron, Wales, Feb, 2019) | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Aberdaron Corn Mill (Aberdaron, Wales, Feb, 2019)


28DL Regular User
Regular User
A small corn mill in Aberdaron, which is a village at the end of the rather beautiful Llyn peninsular - the bit that sticks out on the left before Anglesey.

There’s been a mill here for a long time, with the present buildings dating from the mid 1800s, and the machinery is quite complete.

Recent local efforts (2020) have resulted in plan to restore the old mill as a community resource and tourist attraction, and it now has its own website, where you can find more information: https://melindaron.org/

You could treat these old mills as derelict photo opportunities, and indeed they can be quite photogenic.

But that’s to rather miss the point, which is that they represent unusually complete examples of the only type of powered machinery available (other than wind power) at the start of the industrial revolution, so are worth recording for that reason alone.

As usual the pictures are meant to illustrate how the place worked, using as few images as possible.

My visit simply involved walking in and then tidying up the beer cans and fluorescent drinks bottles left by the local youth.

First a map, showing the water coming in behind the building from a long leat, fed by a dam almost a kilometre away upstream on the River Daron.

A Google street view picture of the outside since I forgot to take one.

This is from 2016, the latest available, but it hasn’t changed much except for less undergrowth and a bit more boarding up.

Not much left of the overshot water wheel (phone pic).

The wheel drove the grinding stones by a standard, albeit quite compact set of gears and shafts, all in cast iron except for the wooden teeth of the two little gears (‘stone nuts’).

The first picture shows a fan above the floor on the left, driven by a couple of layshafts on the far side of the largest gear at the top (the ‘great spur’).

This floor-level fan is quite unusual and may have been there to control dust.

Upstairs there are two boxes containing grinding stones, complete with the equipment for feeding in grain, with one of the stones leaning on the wall nearby.

This end of the L-shaped building probably had a mechanism for hauling up sacks of grain.

A trapdoor (sack flap) can be seen in the foreground with iron eyes set in the rafters above, together with what looks like a roller with a ratchet and pawl in the background.

The other side of the upstairs has a water-powered sack hoist, driven by an enclosed belt from a shaft below.

This hoist was probably for feeding sieves (or ‘dressers’) under this area on the ground floor.

Above the red X you can just make out a lever and pegboard - I forgot to get a better picture.

This was the mill’s throttle, with the lever controlling a sluice outside to adjust the flow of water in a wooden channel (now gone) above the wheel.

I’ve only seen a few of these flow controllers, mostly in Welsh mills.

Back on the ground floor, a view of the compartment containing the gears, showing a wooden trough below where the flour emerged.

The wooden lever above it was for adjusting the spacing between the grinding stones (‘tentering’).

Leaning up against the wall on the left are the outer casings of a dresser.

These probably came from the larger of the two dressers round the corner.

They were driven from the centre by a wheel on the same shaft that controls the sack hoist.

The larger left-hand one is thought to have been for cleaning up the grain before grinding, with the smaller right-hand one for purifying the flour.

Walking back out to put collected rubbish in the bin I noticed that a heron, which had been sitting on a wall outside the SPAR next door when I went in, was still there, as if waiting for the shop to open.

I went over and took a phone pic - it didn’t seem to mind at all, which was odd because herons are normally quite shy birds.

When writing this report I finally did some googling, and Billy the Heron turns out to be Aberdaron’s most famous resident.

Apparently the SPAR owner started feeding it one day around 2005 and Billy has been turning up ever since, stomping around on the tin roof of the shop or sitting on the wall, waiting to be fed.

You can even see Billy sitting on the same wall if you pan round on the 2016 street view I used for the external.

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Fantastic report, nicely narrated. Those gear shots look very hard to photograph, looks like a squeeze to get a good shot off. The gears, hoist & shafts all are very photogenic. I loved the rustic look of this place. Nothing not to like here. Lovely little flint build too. Fab


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Awesome. As previously said, those gears are stunning. Top job.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Very nice mate. It really is a nice little mill. I also watched the Heron begging outside the shop for food, bit of a local attraction. Did you notice what looks like animal markings?



28DL Regular User
Regular User
Very nice mate. It really is a nice little mill. I also watched the Heron begging outside the shop for food, bit of a local attraction. Did you notice what looks like animal markings?
I did take some phone pics - there are some sailing boats pictures as well - but couldn't find them. It's always worth looking for ancient graffiti in these old wooden mills.

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