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Drefach Felindre, Woollen Mill

Drefach Felindre Woollen Mill

The National Museums and Galleries of Wales are carrying out a review of one of their flagship sites, the Museum of the Welsh Woollen Industry housed in the former Cambrian Mills at Drefach-Felindre, Ceredigion.

This multi-faceted project is a part of that review and it aims to provide an up to date survey of the mill buildings, a constructional history of the mill and assessment of the mill's influence in the village and in the wider community. Alongside the usual suite of archaeological survey and recording techniques are two slightly more unusual elements for an industrial site of this nature, the recording of oral tradition and the in situ recording of the numerous graffiti throughout the mill buildings.


Recording the oral traditions and memories of those who worked in the mills and of those who lived in the village will give a valuable insight into the importance of the mill and of the woollen industry in this region that during the 19th century became known as 'the Huddersfield of Wales'. Similarly the recording of the graffiti will allow glimpses of the ways in which the people working the mills interacted with the buildings and each other.

The graffiti can be separated into several different categories, constructional (dated roof timbers, carpenter's marks), technical (sketches of machinery, tally lists, stock numbers) and personal (names, initials and dates, drawings). It is hoped that when this recording is completed it will be possible to see patterns in the distribution of the graffiti that will allow some analysis of the movement of people through the buildings and enable us to begin to see the people behind the machines.

Project contact: Ken Murphy - k.murphy@dyfedarchaeology.org.uk




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