Derelict Felin Gafnan mill, Cemlyn

Here the Wales Coast Path passes the northern gable wall of a derelict corn mill, called Felin Gafnan. Relatively few mills which weren’t powered by the tides were this close to the seashore. The building is owned by the National Trust. Its roof has been maintained.

You can see the broken waterwheel, alongside the other gable, if you visit the adjoining Cestyll Garden (not directly accessible from the coast path). The garden was designed around the fast-flowing Cafnan stream. A mill race took water from the stream to turn the overshot waterwheel. This water was diverted to flow beneath the mill when the wheel was idle.

The mill belonged to the Carreglwyd estate, whose records include a reference to Kafnant mill in 1617. Later that century the government, needing funds for war with France, levied a tax on the mill’s land and output, payable by Ambrose Lewis. He probably had no trouble paying up, as he was a high-flying lawyer and owned much of the land on Anglesey’s north coast!

The current mill building is thought to date from the early 19th century, with 1840s machinery. A little further inland stands a former corn-drying house (18th century) and the house built for the miller in the first half of the 19th century.

The small inlet here is known as Porth y Felin, which means ‘Cove of the Mill’.

Website of the National Trust in Wales

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