Powys Digital History Project

Rhayader and district
Some watermills of the area

The vital role of watermills
Watermills are thought to have been introduced into the British Isles by the Romans. During the medieval period thousands were built across England and Wales, and they fulfilled an important role in the economic and social life of rural areas.
Undershot waterwheelThe technology also developed over the years, so that by 1800 the mills were powering a wide range of machinery. In rural Radnorshire the water mills fulfilled a role which reflected the produce of the countryside.
Besides corn mills, there were fulling and saw mills and some which powered looms. In such an agricultural area many of these were owned by the local landowners and formed part of the larger estates.
Surveys of the watermills of Rhayader and the surrounding district were undertaken by the late Professor Gordon Tucker, a member of the Welsh Mills Society. The pages that follow have been largely put together from his work.
  Select below to view material on some local mills. 
  Lower or New Mill
  Gwynllyn Mill
  Argoed Mill
  Caerfagu Mill