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Factory-isaf, Abercegir: Fulling mill wheel and machinery

A Scheduled Monument in Glantwymyn, Powys

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6022 / 52°36'7"N

Longitude: -3.7716 / 3°46'17"W

OS Eastings: 280115

OS Northings: 301965

OS Grid: SH801019

Mapcode National: GBR 95.941X

Mapcode Global: WH68G.1V8G

Entry Name: Factory-isaf, Abercegir: Fulling mill wheel and machinery

Scheduled Date: 8 November 2018

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 4398

Cadw Legacy ID: MG341

County: Powys

Community: Glantwymyn

Traditional County: Montgomeryshire

Description

The monument comprises the well-preserved remains of an in-situ fulling stock, the system of gears and the water wheel that drove it, together with the surviving structural elements of the former Factory-isaf woollen mill that housed them. It is located at the base of a steep slope on the eastern bank of the fast flowing Afon Cegir. The fulling stock, wheel and gears occupy the partially upstanding north-eastern end of the mill. The remains consist of a 6.1m diameter back-shot water wheel (Item A) set within an intact wheel-pit of shale slabs abutting the reduced north-east wall of the factory, with an outlet to the river at its north-western end. The wheel retains its cast-iron outer rim, incorporating the words ‘Samuel Owens Maker No. 87. Newtown Foundry 1859’ with housings for 40 wooden buckets and an iron axle, the hub plates of which are pierced by a decorative heart motif; most of the wooden wheel spokes have been renewed. The wheel is attached to a pair of large primary gears, a shaft running from these, through the factory wall to drive the upper gear system (Item B) immediately within the factory. These three large gears are mounted on a four-legged wooden frame on the main factory floor level, the largest and lowermost of these being set within a stone lined pit. The frame rests on wooden sills and retains carved nineteenth century graffiti on one of its uprights. A corrugated plastic roof has been fitted to the top of the frame to provide shelter for the upper gears, which were formerly connected by an overhead belt to the pair of lower gears driving the fulling stock located in the cellar below and to the north-west (Item C). A smaller gear and wheel above the upper gears were connected to former machinery in the factory to the south-west. The cellar in which the stock is located survives in plan but the walls have been lowered. The stock, lower gears and several loose cast iron tubs (Item C) are sheltered by a modern, purpose-built lean-to roof at a much lower level than the original, which extends over the north-eastern third of the cellar. The lower gears and cast iron tappet wheel of the stock remain in situ within stone lined pits in the cellar floor. The striker plates of the tappet wheel drove a pair of wooden mallets, or stocks, into the oak-lined iron tub or box containing the cloth. Two tapering wooden poles (loose), used for locking the mallets out of use, are rare survivors and the upright ornate cast-iron plate in which the poles fitted stands beyond the tappet wheel. The outer faces or cheeks of the tub are covered by cast-iron plates with the words ‘R Kilburn, Millwright of Holbeck Leeds’ and are joined to a vertical, circular cast-iron column or stock-back supporting the axle and shank of the mallet mechanism.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of nineteenth century fulling and woollen industries in Wales, together with associated water power technology and industrial decorative cast ironwork manufacturing techniques. It is the sole known example of its type in situ in Wales, thereby representing a unique survival of a former widespread and ubiquitous industry, and one of only two known in the UK. The complete preservation of the stock, gears and water wheel in good condition is of key importance. The remains are fragile and vulnerable to damage, and their form and complexity is such that their value would be severely reduced by neglect or careless treatment.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described above, and the area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is rectangular in shape on plan and measures 11m by 8m. It includes all surviving remains of machinery and mill equipment, and the structures which shelter them.

Source: Cadw

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