Powys Digital History Project

Llanidloes - the flannel makers 11
The end of an industry

  No match for the northern milltowns
As the Industrial Revolution advanced in the mill-towns of northern England, the woven textile industry of Montgomeryshire was less and less able to compete for a share of the same home and overseas markets. The huge textile mills of Lancashire and Yorkshire had the advantages of much greater capital investment, good rail, canal and road links, and the benefits of large scale production.

Photograph by
kind permission of
Cyrus Meredith

 The coming of the railways in the 1860's, which some had hoped would be the turning point in the fortunes of the industry by providing greatly improved access to markets, resulted instead in a flow in the other direction. The extended railway links made it easier for the mass produced textiles of the northern mill towns to flood the markets, including the local ones in Wales. The former woollen mill (above) at Tylwch, a few miles south of Llanidloes, was sited between the new railway track and the River Dulas.

The former
Bridgend Factory,

There are now few reminders of the former scale of the flannel industry in and around Llanidloes, since few of the larger buildings have survived.
The recent photograph (left) is of the former Bridgend Factory near the Short Bridge over the River Severn.

It was built in 1834 to harness water power, with a carding engine on the ground floor and spinning mules and looms on the upper floors. The Bridgend Factory was the last of the Llanidloes flannel mills to close.

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

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