We live in an old woollen mill

The world around us brims with history, even if we don’t always notice it. Sometimes it can be a bit covered over, while at other times the history of a place can sneak up and demand you take notice.

We are very lucky to be living in small village, Drefach Felindre, that was once the centre of Wales’ booming woollen industry and is now home to the fantastic National Wool Museum.


In the museum you can learn about the histories of people connected to the woollen industry and see beautifully restored historical machinery in action. The complexity and grandeur of the machinery is staggering to behold.

Changing Perceptions

After visiting the museum last week, I started to look at our mill a little differently. The building has been renovated to such a degree that it is hard to imagine it in its former glory.

My thoughts were: ‘how strange, it doesn’t feel very…woolly.’

Yet as all good exhibitions do, the Woollen museum stoked my historical imagination.

Three rusty parts of mill machinery

Then I started to recognise things laid out in garage, and in areas that we are beginning to tidy and sort through.

Close-up of machine teeth

Parts of machines, that are often rusty or covered in moss, are everywhere.

Small finishing iron rusty and covered in moss

I also began to imagine the space being used as a mill – the long floors in which the huge machines were stored for carding, weaving, spinning and finishing.

Parts of sewing machine station and sewing machine, rusty

In the Changing Room, where we meditate and do yoga, I imagined the wool being passed up through the floor boards ready for warping and weaving. I could see it all working.

Part of a large finishing press, originally made in Cardigan

We are very keen to honour the histories of the mill and find more about the people who worked here, so more trips to the museum, and the archives, are definitely in order. If you are reading this, live in the local area and want to help, get in touch! 

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