Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
The flannel industry
  The Spring Mill  

In 1875 a new steam-powered factory was built in Penygreen Road at Highgate, Llanidloes. Because it was completely powered by steam it did not need to be situated near the river.
It was built by Thomas Jones, one of the most energetic of the local flannel manufacturers and an important man in the industry.

  Spring Mill
  The photograph above shows the interior of Spring Mill. It was taken about 1890 and gives us a good idea what these factories were like. The wheels on the ceiling were attached to long axles which were powered by steam engines. Belts coming down from the wheels would power the looms. These could produce cloth at a fantastic rate but working on them could be unpleasant. The factories were noisy places and the workers became good at lip reading!
Some handloom weavers who had to give up their trade and work in the factories said they had changed from being craftsmen to being slaves to a machine. .

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