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Criccieth - The Old Mill

There has been a mill here since medieval times, perhaps even earlier. Oats or barley would be brought to the mill by carts for grinding. There is a letter in the Brynkir collection, from the 17th century, which discusses the “shipt maize” suggesting that it was also delivered by small coastal vessels. The mill would grind the grain brought by farmers at a fee or would buy some to sell to the townsfolk. The womenfolk would mostly bake their own bread or at least mix the dough and take it to a bakehouse for baking. Some made extra and sold it so they appear in the censuses as “bakers”. White, wheat flour become common in the area after the arrival of the railway in 1867. The readily availabilty of this flour and the establishing of proper bakeries probably spelt the end of the mill. The last miller to live in the mill house was in the 1880s. It may have been used periodically into the 20th century. The River Cwrt, which drove the wheel, can be a mere trickle in the summer and a deluge in the winter so there must have been a system of sluice gates, below and above the pond. The little stream “Ffrwd y Brain” which rises to the east of the town was diverted into the system. This way the miller, in times of drought could build up a head in the pond and when the Cwrt was in spate divert it away to the present culvert

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