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Rescuing a derelict watermill

This upland Welsh watermill, at the Carmarthenshire end of the Brecon Beacons National Park, is at least 400 years old. Flour was milled here until 1928, when it, and its ancillary buildings (the miller’s house, the drying kiln and the cowshed), were abandoned and falling into dereliction, until purchased by the Mears family over a period of five years from 1979. The repair work on this complex is a demonstration of slow but considered conservation and learning. Traditional skills were applied, and local materials of wood and stone were used. The three main buildings have been turned into living accommodation, while retaining the mill machinery and original rural features. New staircases have been inserted into the miller’s house and the mill in keeping with the robust detailing of the building.

Awards

The Times & RICS conservation Awards: Commended

The National Home Improvement Award 2012: Finalist

Client’s testimonial

‘It is absolutely amazing to be able to live in this building. The process of repairing and restoring it over the last thirty four years has been quite slow and painful at times, but it has also been an amazing process, thanks also to the architect and the local people who helped understand such buildings and their traditions.’

Miller's house and kiln

Miller’s house and kiln

Site plan

Site plan

Proposed drawings

Proposed drawings

Proposed drawings

Proposed drawings

Before

Before

After

After

Kiln and miller's house before

Kiln and miller’s house before

Kiln and miller's house after

Kiln and miller’s house after

09 - Cowshed_ before Adjusted 1280W@72dpi

Cowshed after

Cowshed after

Living room with mill machinery before

Living room with mill machinery before

Living room with mill machinery after

Living room with mill machinery after

Mill kitchen

Mill kitchen

Mill kitchen and dining room

Mill kitchen and dining room

Mill top floor living room with mill stones

Mill top floor living room with mill stones

Top floor living room with new windows

Top floor living room with new windows

Proposed new extension to the Millers house, view from the Mill

Proposed new extension to the Millers house, view from the Mill

Proposed new extension to the Millers house, view from the Mill

Proposed new extension to the Millers house, view from the Mill