Powys Digital History Project

Some watermills of the Rhayader area
Lower or New Mill 1

The West bank of the Wye
For much of its working life this corn mill appeared squeezed in between the railway embankment and the River Wye in the parish of Llansantffraid Cwmdeuddwr.. The mill leat and the brook it is taken from - Nant Gwynllyn - both came under the railway. The mill pond and the troughs feeding the wheels were cut deep into the rock, an enormous task. The origins of the mill are uncertain but there was a mill on the site at the time of the Ordnance Survey surveyor mapped the area for a proposed 2" to the mile map (around 1820).


From the
Ordnance Survey
25" map of 1904

County Archives

There were two mill wheels, one at each end of the mill building. The northern wheel has six pairs of wooden arms in iron bosses on a wooden axle, but is much broken and disturbed. It orginally bore the legend Llanidloes Foundry 1868, indicating the maker. The southern wheel was later and was about 12ft in diameter and 4ft wide and its remains are still on site. It was made by J. Mills of Llanidloes in 1901. The mill building is about 40ft by 20ft externally. A platform was hewn out of the rock for its construction so that the back wall upt to above the stone floor is natural rock. The mill is now derelict and the miller's house and other outbuildings have gone. The site is overgrown and what was once the approach road is more like a woodland track

Image based on the
tithe map for

County Archives

This image from the tithe map of the parish of Llansantffraid Cwmdeuddwr dates from around 1838 and shows the mill and its pond on the Cwmdeuddwr bank of the Wye in the days before the railway came to the Wye valley.

Old postcard
of the mill

By kind permission of Lloyd Lewis 

  This photograph from around 1900 (taken from the Castle site) shows the mill buildings and the miller's cottage on the banks of the Wye at a time when the river banks were open and bare of trees.
This was the last stage in the development of the mill which was refurbished in the later 19th century. The mill was in use up to the Second World War.


See the next page for further images of the mill (both old and new).