Hen Felin corn mill, Capelulo

This former mill is now a residence – please don’t enter the grounds. The earliest certain record of “the Old Mill” (Hen Felin) in Capelulo is dated 1760, when Richard George was the miller.

Painting of Hen Felin, CapeluloHowever, it’s recorded that “the miller of Dwygyfylchi” was charged with theft of clothes in 1550. This probably refers to Hen Felin, as other local mills were built much later.

Hen Felin was smaller than the house it later became. The overshot waterwheel was beside the western gable end and fed from the river Gyrach via a leat.

The miller lived in a tiny cottage next to what’s now the driveway entrance to the current dwelling, accessed via Old Mill Road. The cottage’s footings, excavated in 1985, measured 6m x 3.7m (20ft x 12ft). The 1847 tithe map names the cottage as Tŷ’n Y Felin (House in the Mill).

Photo of Hen Felin, Capelulo, in 1951The mill was also accessed via a river bridge wide enough for horse-drawn carts. The current footbridge from Y Glyn path is much narrower.

The mill was part of the Glyn Estate, sold in 1776 by the wealthy Coytmor family to Hugh Evans of Maenan, and again in 1850 to the quarry-owning Darbishire family of Plas Mawr, Penmaenmawr. David Owen was the miller from 1857 to 1859. It’s thought the mill stopped operating around then.

In 1861 the building was extended. By 1871 it was occupied by Robert and Mary Jones and their son William. Father and son worked in a quarry cutting setts (blocks of very hard stone for paving roads). The painting of the former mill probably dates from the late 19th century.

Photo of Hen Felin, Capelulo, as a ruin in 1982The 1951 photo shows the building in poor condition. The Roberts family were tenants until 1954. Muriel Roberts and her twin sister were born here in 1930. Muriel told Penmaenmawr Historical Society in 2015 that the building had a big kitchen with high ceilings and a sash window that came to the floor. There was an outside toilet and the family used a tin bath.

The 1982 photo shows the mill as a ruin. The building was renovated in 1998-2000, with further improvements by the Pittaway family after 2013. In the grounds live more than 100 historic trees, covered by a preservation order. Indigenous trees are planted as old ones expire.

With thanks to Penmaenmawr Historical Society, Gary Pittaway and the Cynefin Project

Postcode: LL34 6TB    View Location Map

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