Powys Digital History Project

Llanidloes - the flannel makers
A long established industry  

  The flannel market
Montgomeryshire was the most important centre of the woven textile industry in Wales from the mid 16th century, and until around 1790 wool was carded, spun and woven into fabric in almost all farmhouses and cottages as a winter activity to supplement the often meagre living from upland farming. Weaving is among the earliest trades recorded in parish registers.
Since textiles were being produced in so many, often remote, locations throughout the district, small water-powered fulling mills were built in many places to process the rolls of woven cloth. The fulling process involved soaking the cloth in warm water and detergent such as fuller's earth, causing the wet woollen fibres to mat together and thicken and cleanse the cloth.

The Market Hall

Photograph by
kind permission of
Llanidloes Museum

Market Hall, Llanidloes 

In 1797 a new fortnightly flannel market was established in Welshpool. The flannel made around Llanidloes was collected by packhorse or cart from the fulling mills of the district and piled up under the Market Hall (above) in the centre of the town. The bales of around 120 yards of flannel were collected early in the morning by a "large cumbrous waggon" and taken to the Welshpool market.

There are 11 pages on the flannel industry. Use the box links below to view the other pages.

Home page 
Llanidloes menu page  Continue...