Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Carew Tidal Mill

While Carew is probably best known for its castle the village also boasts something unique in Wales: the only remaining tidal mill.

Carew Mill
Though the Mill is no longer in operation, the machinery, exhibition and interactive displays show how tidal water from the Carew Estuary has been used as a source of sustainable energy through the ages.

The present building probably dates from the early 19th century and indeed one of the two Mill wheels carries the date 1801. The Mill is often referred to as the ‘French Mill’ which may be a reference to the use of French burr stones.

The precise origin of Carew Mill is uncertain. It’s possible that a Mill worked by a Mill leat running from the Carew River pre-dated the building of the causeway on which the current building stands and documentary evidence indicates a Mill of some kind in existence as early as 1542. Records show that in 1558 John Bartlett leased the Mill for the sum of ten sovereigns per annum.

Carew Mill and the Causeway at low tide
The first reference to a causeway comes in a commission of 1630 which indicates that Sir John Carew had restored the floodgates and causeway walls some 15 years earlier.

The fortunes of the Mill were restored by the revival in agriculture in the late 18th century and from that time the Mill was constantly in use. Activity finally ceased in 1937 and from that time onwards the building lay derelict.