Felin Cochwillan is a well-preserved large estate corn mill situated on a loop of the Ogwen River, Close to Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. It retains good late 19th Century detail in its external character, and inside a virtually complete set of mill machinery, including stones and a drying kiln.

The first reference to a mill on the site appears in a register of the Lands of Cochwillan estate, which is dated 1560, but may have been a copy of an earlier manuscript, the remains of the original mill can still be seen to this day.

The current mill was built by a William's family about two hundred years ago the exact date is not known, as the original deeds were lost in a fire. It was built as a fulling mill, which was used to prepare cloth (also called a Pandy), and operated as a home industry. In the late 18th Century they started using diluted sulphuric acid as a detergent, this caused damage to the salmon and sea trout fishing, so the mill was closed and bought by the Penrhyn estate and converted into a corn mill.

In 1901 it was taken over by a Mr John Hughes who bought pulleys and shafting from Felin Coed Hywel to assist in working its 4 sets of stones.

At the end of the 19th Century new 'Roller Mills' mass produced cheap flour heralding the end for traditional stone grinding flour mills. Animal feed production continued however, because of the growing need for milk, cheese and bacon in the expanding cities.

Upon Mr Hughes death the mill closed in 1955. It was subsequently bought by Mr Vernon Barker (below left), and his wife Mabel, who together used the building to make spinning wheels, looms and ancient machines of the woollen industry. Mr Barker sold the mill in 1999 to his nephew Mr Howard Hutchinson who along with wife Cora and the Hutchinson family (below right) are in the process of restoring and preserving the mill as a monument to its people and industry. Unfortunately Vernon passed away in July 2002 aged 93 years.

photo of Vernon Barker
Mr Vernon Barker

photo of Hutchinson family
The Hutchinsons

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