Abercamlais Mill


An old millstone sits outside the front of the house, once used in Abercamlais Mill.

‘Felincamlais in the upper reaches of Cwm Camlais-fawr, a tributary of the Usk, appears in seventeenth century records of the Penpont Estate. A grant of 1671 referring to milling rights there describes the mill as ‘Melin ycha ar Camlais’, or ‘upper mill on the Camlais’, implying the coeval presence of a ‘lower mill’ somewhere downstream near its confluence with the Usk.

The Ordnance Survey first-edition 25-inch plan (1870s) shows a roofless rectangular building at the given NGR. The Tithe Award map (1840) likewise shows a structure here but it is not present on the OS second edition (c.1900). On the ground the site is now occupied by a hollow seemingly cut into the rising ground of the stream valley, some 10-15m from the stream bank, near a point where the bank has slumped. It measures about 5m across and 1.5m deep. It contains rubble, some of it crudely dressed, and suggests a building which has been dug out. The occupants of nearby Abercamlais House recall a tradition that there was once a mill at this location. Mill stones, supposedly from the site, form garden ornaments in the grounds of the house. However, no traces of a water-control system were identified near the hollow. This could be accounted for by landscaping and tree-planting after the mill had gone out of use. About 100m east of the hollow, on higher ground at SN96432884, the OS map shows a roofed building but this too has now gone.

By 1840 Felincamlais was being referred to as ‘Abercamlais Mill’ despite its upstream location. It is likely therefore that the original ‘Abercamlais Mill’ had gone out of use in the period 1671-1840, the name transferred to Felincamlais, then this too went out of use soon after 1840.’

David Leighton, RCAHMW, 1 April 2011

Source: http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/413554/details/abercamlais-corn-millabercamlais-mill

Abercamlais Mill: There is some discussion of the site in Coflein, which notes a grant of 1671 referring to Felincamlais in the upper reaches of Cwm Camlais-fawr, describing the mill as ‘Melin ycha ar Camlais’, or ‘upper mill on the Camlais’, implying the coeval presence of a ‘lower mill’ somewhere downstream near its confluence with the Usk. This may have been the mill in Cwm Camlais which was directed to be pulled down by a decree of court in 1653 (Jones, 1940, 119), the memory of which would no doubt have persisted for the intervening 18 years. The Coflein record discusses some potential locations for the mill to the E of the stream, although none is particularly convincing, particularly as it is evident from the first edition OS mapping that a leat ran to the W of the stream from a weir at SN 95953 28430 and this surely must have been heading for the mill. Mill stones, supposedly from the site, apparently form garden ornaments in the grounds of Abercamlais house. The most likely location for the mill is somewhere on the edge of the flood plain of the River Usk, perhaps around SN 96179 29012, but this might have been badly disturbed by road improvements on the A40 trunk road.

Location: Although the mill has not been located it probably lay somewhere near the River Usk, in an area now largely used as pasture and crossed by the A40 trunk road. The valley floor is flat and the mill may have lain on the edge of a terrace above this and to the S of the river, about 1km SW of the village of Trallong.

Mill buildings: No trace of the mill buildings survives although a location of about SN 96179 29012 is likely.

Water supply: The weir on the Camlais has already been mentioned and the leat is readily apparent where it crosses the trackway to Pont Llyn-du (at SN 96055 28617) and is protected from traffic by a series of slabs. Earthworks can be seen upstream, although a section is disturbed by the route of a modern pipeline. Downstream from the trackway crossing the leat continues as a visible earthwork, up to 2m wide and 0.5m deep, to SN 96081 28739 where it seems to have been lost to pasture improvement; the 1st edition OS mapping shows it continuing to SN 96156 28908.’

Source: https://dokumen.tips/documents/mills-and-milling.html

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