Rescuing a derelict watermill

This upland Welsh watermill, at the Carmarthenshire end of the Brecon Beacons National Park, is at least 400 or even 500 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 fell into dereliction.  They were purchased by the Mears family over a period of five years from 1979 for use for family holidays. The repair work on this complex involved a long learning curve for Roger, the practice and the local builder. Traditional skills were re-learned and local wood and stone were used. The three main buildings have been turned into living accommodation, while retaining the mill machinery. New staircases have been inserted into the miller’s house and the mill in keeping with the robust detailing of the building.

A new extension to the Miller’s house, Tŷ Melinydd, has now been added, described in detail here.


The Times & RICS conservation Awards: Commended

The National Home Improvement Award 2012: Finalist

Miller's house and kiln

The Mill, Miller’s house and kiln

Site plan

Site plan

Proposed drawings

Proposed drawings

Proposed drawings

Proposed drawings


Mill before



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 before

Cowshed after

Cowshed after

Living room with mill machinery before

Mill machinery on ground floor before

Living room with mill machinery after

Mill machinery after

Mill kitchen


Mill kitchen and dining room

Dining room

Mill top floor living room with mill stones

First floor Living Room, after