Abergele’s Old Windmill

We’ve already lost Abergele Market, Rhyl Watertowers and Colwyn Bay’s Astra Cinema.

If you walk up Chapel St to Mynydd Seion and turn left at the flat-roofed building that sells tiles (previously a printers and a laundrette before that), you’ll  come to a red-bricked warehouse. This warehouse used to be taller and it used to be attached to an old whitewashed stone windmill.

I don’t know how that old windmill at the junction of Chapel St with High St came to be demolished, but it’s a shame it’s gone because we’ve lost one of Abergele’s important landmarks.

My grandfather Harry Gee was a watercolourist and loved painting that old windmill while it still stood. As they say: “when it’s gone, it’s gone”, and now all I’ve got to remind me of this old piece of Abergele is my grandfather’s painting of it.

The Old Windmill, Abergele. Painting by Harry Gee.
The Old Windmill, Abergele. Painting by Harry Gee.

10 thoughts on “Abergele’s Old Windmill

  1. David Hughes:

    Hi Gareth,

    In Ellis Wynne Williams book “Abergele, The story of a Parish” he makes references to the mill which may tell us more about its demolishion.

    “In the early days of the nineteenth century the water mill at Plas Isa, Upper High Street was replaced by a a large windmill in higth Street”

    “About 1860 it was aquired by Benjamin Littler who scrapped it, extended the mill and installed a steam engine which had a huge flywheel to drive the stones”

    Under the ownership of William williams “The mill was also enlarged by the building of a four storied wing”

    In the aerial photo of Abergele that you published here a while ago, you can clearly see the “four storied wing” I therefore presume that the original white Windmill was demolished to make way for that new wing so think we could put the date of demolishment in the early 1900’s

    1. Gareth Morlais:

      Hi David. I think the ruin of the old white mill may have been demolished more recently than that. I’d say during the 1980s. Before this it was still attached to the red-brick warehouse which still stands, albeit not as high as it once was.

      1. David Hughes:

        Hi Gareth,

        I really can’t remeber it being there. If it was the 1980’s, hopefully someone reading this may have a photo.

  2. Dennis Parr:

    I have an original photo of the mill which I took probably in the 1960’s or 1970’s (not sure).
    At that time it was in quite good condition.
    I had a collection of over 200 photos of old Abergele which I deposited with the Archives Office in Llandudno. I still have most of the negatives.

    1. Gareth Morlais:

      Wow, I’d love to see that photo and others in your collection Dennis. Has the Llandudno archive digitised and published them online?

  3. Dennis Parr:

    As far as I know the photos have not been digitised.
    However I’m sure that they will be available for you to inspect if you go to the Archives office in Llandudno

  4. Alun Owen:

    Falch gweld eich bod wedi llusgo hanes Abergele ac yn y blaen i’r oes ddigidol.
    Edrych ymlaen i weld sut fydd pethai’n datblygu.
    Ardderchog Gareth, Ann a phawb arall sydd yn gystulliedig a’r brosiect.
    Alun Owen (un o fobl dywad – ym mlwyddyn 1968) ond eto rhywun sy’n caru Abergele

  5. Mark:

    In the very early 80’s my brother an myself aged 6 and 9 ish respectively, were reprimanded by a policeman for standing at the door of the mill, up the wooden steps that you can see in the picture. We lived in High Street, and the policeman went to see our father about it. Imagine the police being that strict these days. The place was a magnet for us, as it looked like something from the past. I remember being sad when they took it down

  6. Rami Malkawi:

    One of the best Digital Stories I have ever heard … it is really emotional and attractive … Thanks Gareth Morlais.

  7. Rami Malkawi:

    I heard this digital story which was of Mr. Gareth Morlais narration in 2013!

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