Milling at the site of Llanyrafon Mill is thought to date back at least to the 14th Century; documentary evidence of a mill dates from 1632.
Originally water probably came from streams descending the hill (where Caernarfon Crescent now runs) and was collected in a millpond. The later triple stoned corn mill took its water from a large bend in Afon Lwyd half a mile away to power an overshot wheel.
Following damage to the weir by flood water, the owners, unable to afford repairs, sold the Mill in 1921 to the tenants, the Wait family.
Although use of the wheel was abandoned in the 1940s following repeated failure of the drive shaft, milling continued on a daily basis until 1951 when the mill was compulsorily purchased by Cwmbran Development Corporation and boarded up. A fire gutted the building in the 1970s, but left the internal iron machinery almost complete if in need of support. Later, workers on a government scheme were employed to replace the roof.
The mill is today owned by Torfaen CB Council, and managed by The Friends of Llanyrafon Mill, formed in 1995 with the aim of restoring the Mill as a tourist attraction and accessible to all. The mill was listed Grade 2 in October 2004. The Friends are following up a recently completed Conservation and Development study with applications for relevant funding.
Most of the leat has been destroyed, and the unusually squat iron water wheel lacks intact buckets and a shaft. The Mill structure is sound, but the iron machinery is supported on scaffolding. The only complete stone remaining on site is a French burr inside the gate.
After restoration it is intended to run the wheel using a pumped circulating water supply, and resume milling for demonstration purposes. There is a display of agricultural and milling artefacts inside the Mill, including a dresser, portable corn mills, scales, seed drills, and so on.
The Mill is open to visitors, free of charge, on Bank Holiday Mondays (usually 2-5pm), and can be visted by prior appointment at other times - contact the Friends, see below.
Car parking is available and the site is accessible to disabled visitors.
The location of the mill is Llanyrafon Way, Cwmbrân, Torfaen.
The Ordnance Survey Grid Reference for Llanyrafon Mill is ST 303 946 ( Landranger Sheet 171 )
Link to detailed map (streetmap.co.uk) showing location of the Mill: map (this will open in a new window)
The Hon. Secretary is Mrs Marion Davies, 46 Beaumaris Drive, Llanyrafon, Cwmbrân,
Torfaen NP44 8JA.
Phone: 01633 482780 International: (+44) 16 33 48 27 80