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Powys Digital History Project
The flannel industry
  The Cambrian factory  

The largest flannel mill in the Llanidloes area was the Cambrian factory which was built in 1852 by the River Clywedog. It was built by Thomas Jones senior and then extended by his son, also Thomas Jones, who also built the Spring Mill.


The photograph above shows the factory around 1885 when there were about 250 workers employed there. Behind the factory on the hill you can see the long strips of finished flannel stretched out to dry on frames called tenters. (We get the phrase "on tenterhooks" from this practice).


In November 1889 disaster struck the mill when it was almost completely destroyed in a fire! The horse drawn fire engines of the time could do little to fight a blaze like this and many other mills suffered in the same way.
The Cambrian mill was rebuilt and continued to play an important part in the flannel industry. After the days of flannel it later became a leather works. .

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