History Of The Old Mill
Built in 1873, read about the history of The Old Mill buildings and their various uses over the years
The River Wheeler running in front of The Old Mill Holiday Cottages and Cherry Pie Inn and Restaurant, once fed, through sluices and a mill dam, the now silent breastshot mill wheel at the adjacent Wern Mill. From early times when every country estate had its mill, local tenant farmers would bring their corn to be ground. Melin y Wern; the "Mill on the Alder Marsh" belonged to the nearby Gledlom estate.
The former Dorothy Mostyn of Cilcain Hall was the widow of the last Wynn of Gledlom and some years after her death in 1725 when both of the estates enjoyed common ownership through her descendants, they were put up for auction. The sale particulars of 1873 refer to "Wern Mills", covering four acres, having existing right of water and with buildings and a "new house" on the site. The oldest building on the site is the Mill itself, Wern Mill which we believe was built in 1805, the same time that the road through the valley was constructed. We understand that it replaced a wooden mill. The earliest reference to a miller found so far, is in the Ysceifiog parish records of 1663 when a baptism of a daughter of Hugh Jones, miller, is recorded.
The Last Mill Workers
The last family to work the mill were also called Jones and they remained living at the mill complex until 1935. They had come in 1853 when John Jones took out a forty year lease on the property. As well as being a miller he was an accomplished mathematician and a keen astronomer who is known to have produced almanacs for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board. When corn grinding ceased in 1925, the last actual recorded miller was Mr. Richard Williams, although Albert Jones, grandson of John was still living there. After the 1930's the buildings fell into disrepair, but during the last war and up to 1947, the mill wheel, was in use again for charging wireless batteries.
Descendants of the Jones family are still living in the nearby village of Lixwm today and can tell the story of the table given to cover the corn grinding debt and carried by the miller John Jones from Rhesycae back to Melin y Wern. Furniture from a sale held at a now demolished house on the site in 1935 is still in Lixwm homes today and includes the gateleg table. The cottage to the left of the mill was once a collection of buildings sometime housing either mill workers or being used as a mill office. Immediately behind the Mill itself, there used to be a four storey brick building which was used to dry the grain. The walls were hollow and the heat from coal fires was directed through the centre of the walls to heat them up. This building became dangerous and was demolished in about 1970. The five storey building to the right of the watermill was built by John Jones at a cost of 600 Pounds Sterling. The construction date of 1886 appears high up in the stonework on the south facing wall. This building was a granary but has since been used for many things. During the last war the Ministry of Food used it to store sugar and later it was used by a firm making paper products, followed until 1966 by one manufacturing fire lighters.
The smaller two storey property was originally the mill stables. It later became a warehouse and then craft studios, known as Craft o’ Hans after its Danish owner. It was purchased in 1988 by the previous owners Mr & Mrs Evans who converted it into a successful B&B which traded for 25 years, until their retirement in June 2014. We (The Stack Family!) purchased The Old Mill in November 2014. We have undergone a programme of renovations within the guest accommodation, converting the property from a B&B into Self Catering Holiday Lets, we commenced trading in June 2015. From the Cherry Pie Inn a number of footpaths and tracks radiate out into the surrounding countryside. These are the survivors of the "mill lanes" used by farmers over the centuries to bring their corn for grinding by the local miller. Set off along these old lanes and footpaths and you are soon into delightful Clwydian countryside walking many paths that have been in use for a very long time.
Both my husband and I have always loved travelling, we have experienced great hospitality and have been fortunate enough to have travelled to many beautiful and memorable locations worldwide. We wanted to recreate our experience of great hospitality in beautiful surroundings, by developing our own small holiday cottage business. After much searching of the local area, we were lucky enough to buy the Old Mill in November 2014. As soon as we saw The Old Mill we immediately fell in love with its beautiful setting and amazing architecture. We knew this would be our ideal family home and a fantastic opportunity to develop into our business dream of creating a small holiday cottage complex.
The previous owners ran the property as a very successful B&B business for 25 years. We have under gone a programme of sensitive renovations to take the property into its next era. We opened our first two cottages (The Hayloft & Millers Cottage) in the Summer of 2015. The Long Barn opened in July 2016. The Roost has recently been fully renovated and opened in Summer 2021.