Celuan Wool Mill, Tal-Y-Bont
Situated on the banks of the river Ceulan, this now clodsed and abandoned Woollen Mill was one of 5 fully operational woollen mills in Tal-y-Bont
Built in 1847 by the Morris family, production commenced around 1860 being extended in 1880 to accomodate its growth.
Inside is certainly quite derelict but still in decent condition. The windows are generally smashed allowing nature to creep inside adding a luminous green light to the inside as a contrast to the dark colours of the machinery. Caution had to be taken as space was tight inside and it was all too easy to bump into heavy rusting metal equipment whist setting up shots. Three floors in total with the floors themselves being in good condition for walking over. Reels of wooll long disgarded lay in situ on the floors and machinery long since ground to a halt, no longer needed in this age of mass production imported from overseas.
It was quite sad to see such a fine production facility seemingly just left to rot. A reminder when this Country did produce and not rely on imports to satisfy the market [without getting into a social and political rant!]
More history pinched off the web:
The water wheel is still on the side of the mill, although, it is not in great shape and is barely visible. The iron hub of the wheel is marked J Edgar Dublin and has 12 wooden spokes. The iron rim is marked Ellis Foundry 1891. The wheel was an overshot although the wooden trough carrying the water to the top of the wheel is no longer in situ.
The wheel provided power for the factory and was the first provider of electricity to the houses of Tal-y-Bont which was the first rural village in Cardiganshire/Ceredigion to have any form of electricity. The clergy at Bethel Chapel decided to do away with the oil lamps and discussion was had about carbide lamps being used instead. Mr Morris announced he could provide electricity for the chapel, the houses and the main road. The parish council paid £10.00 per annum for street lighting and houses were charged 5 shillings (25p) for one 60W lamp which then cost a further seven shillings and sixpence for 3 months electricity supply. Mr Morris turned off the power at 10.30pm each night believing that was late enough for folk to be awake!
To meet the increasing demand for electricity a peloton wheel was purchased and placed at the other end of the factory to add to the power generated by the main wheel.
The factory produced cloth and flannel mainly for shirts for farmers and coal miners throughout mid and south Wales but production and profits suffered during the war. Although things picked up after the war ultimately it was unable to compete with the larger factories that were significantly bigger and were using (what was then) modern new machinery which was more efficient. After diversifying and turning part of the mill into a shop to sell the products directly to the public the mill eventually closed in 1962 although it still remains within the same family. A number of years ago the current owner tried to pass the property and machinery to the National Trust for preservation but as the owner was unable to provide some of the funding to restore/repair the mill the National Trust were unable to take the property.