|Date||27 October 2011|
|Location||Trefriw||SH 78097 63068; 53.15074°N, 3.82430°W|
Trefriw Woollen Mills is a working mill and factory shop housed in a large 20th century building in the village of Trefriw in the Conwy valley.
In the 19th century, however, the mill was located higher up, on the banks of the River Crafnant, and was powered by two waterwheels. A 36-ft-diameter overshot wheel drove billies and jennies for spinning the yarn, and the cloth was woven on hand looms. A smaller, 7 ft wheel powered a pandy, or fulling mill. The fulling process cleanses, thickens and strengthens the woven cloth, and involved washing to remove dirt and grease residues and kneading with special wooden hammers to mat the wool fibres together.
Built as The Vale of Conwy Woollen Mill in 1820, the concern was bought in 1859 by Thomas Williams, who expanded the business. The mill is still owned and operated by the Williams family.
The present-day mill is lit and powered by its own 60 kW hydro-electric plant. This is fed via a 20-inch-diameter pipe from a reservoir created by a dam, built in 1952, half a mile upstream, which provides a head of 125 ft. The two Pelton wheel turbines, manufactured by Boving, were installed in 1942 and 1951. The Turbine House itself stands on the location of a former flour mill.