Research resources: Welsh Woollen Industry
Interested in the Welsh Woollen Industry?
Not sure where to start? The National Wool Museum can help
Our most frequently asked enquiries include-
- You’ve got a nursing shawl and you want to know how and where it was made.
- You’re tracing your ancestry and would like to know more about a woollen mill once in the family.
- You’re interested in finding out more about the mill that you’re living in.
The National Wool Museum is housed in the former Cambrian Mills. The collection here comprises four Grade II listed mill buildings, historic textile machinery, textile collection, paper and photographic archive and a small library. You can visit the museum to see woollen cloth being woven on historic machinery and chat to our demonstrating craftspersons. You can also see woollen cloth production on site at the commercial working mill, Melin Teifi and at the listed 18th century working woollen mill, Esgair Moel, re-erected at St. Fagans: National History Museum. There is a selection of historic woollen textiles made in mills throughout Wales on display in the Textile Gallery. Our textile collection provides a very useful tool for identification of blanket patterns, dates and mills at which they were produced. The proposal for the development of a National Design Database aims to build on this, so that we can provide on-line access to our collection.
The main source of information on the welsh woollen industry is the book The Welsh Woollen Industry by J. Geraint Jenkins (Cardiff, 1969).
Two important reports are also available Report on a survey of the Welsh Textile Industry by William P. Crankshaw (Cardiff, 1927) and Rural Industries Bureau Survey of Welsh Mills (unpublished, 1947)
Researching ancestry and mill buildings is not straightforward! We do not possess comprehensive records of all welsh woollen mills or the families that owned and ran these mills. We do keep files on the mills of the Lower Teifi Valley and have information on some of the larger mills in our archive. Our own research and information gathering is ongoing in this area.
The National Wool Museum is the lead museum in Wales for the woollen industry but there is also collections relating to the woollen industry at St.Fagans: National History Museum.
If you require any further information, please contact Ann Whittall(029) 2057 3084
There are many other repositories and resources available for researching the Welsh Woollen Industry:
|St. Fagans: National History Museum
02920 573 500
Collection of mill photographs in photographic archive; account books from various mills in archive; advice on textile conservation; advice on how to research historic buildings; oral history recordings of past mill owners and workers; re-erected 18th century working woollen mill, Esgair Moel library.
|Welsh Mills Society
C/O Mrs. Hilary Malawas
Y Felin, Tynygraig
Ceredigion SY25 6AE
The aims of the Society are to study, record, interpret and publicise the wind and water mills of; Wales; to encourage general interest; to advise on preservation and use, and to encourage working millers.
|Newtown Textile Museum
5-7 Commercial Street,
Powys SY16 2BL
01938 554656 / 01938 622024
The Textile Museum is housed in an early 19th century weaving shop when Newtown was a major centre of handloom weaving. The museum tells the story of the woollen industry in Newtown and Wales.;
Ceredigion SY23 2AQ
There are welsh woollen textiles in their collection
|Carmarthenshire County Museum
There are welsh woollen textiles in their collection
|Royal Commission on the Ancient &
Historical Monuments of Wales,
Ceregigion, SY23 1NJ
Tel 01970 621200
Many books have been published on investigating your family tree and there are also many useful websites dedicated to this subject. A good place to begin your search and to get some useful hints are-;
|The National Archives
Surrey TW9 4DU
|The Family Records Centre
1 Myddelton Street
London EC1R 1UW
0208 392 5300
There are many useful on line resources available to aid research, far too numerous to list, here are a few to get you started-
- Archives Network Wales: www.archivesnetworkwales.info
This website contains descriptions of collections held at repositories in Wales and provides links to further information and details of other repositories.
- Wales on the Web: www.walesontheweb.org
Collections Wales is an online directory of research collections in Wales
- Gathering the Jewels: www.gtj.org.uk
This website holds over 20,000 images of objects, books, letters, photographs and other items from museums, libraries and record offices in Wales. There are many images of woollen mills and historic welsh textiles.
If you are interested in finding out more about textiles and textile machinery-
|The Science Museum
London SW7 2DD
The Science Museum has a vast collection covering the entire history of western science, technology and medicine- this collection includes textile machinery.
|The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
Manchester M3 4FP
The Textiles Gallery is an interesting place to visit if you are interested in finding out more about textile machinery and the textile industry in Britain.
|The Victoria and Albert Museum
London SW7 2RL
On its website the Victoria and Albert Museum is described as the world’s greatest museum of art and design. The museum has a textile collection dating from the 17th century to present day featuring contemporary British design and fashion.
Welsh County Record Offices and the National Library of Wales;
|Anglesey County Record Office
Neuadd y Sir
Ynys Môn; LL77 7TW
|Carmarthenshire Archive Service
Neuadd y Sir,
Aberystwyth, SY23 2HE
Conwy LL30 2YG
|Flintshire Record Office
The Old Rectory
Clwyd.; LL15 1HP
|Glamorgan Archive Service
Cardiff; CF1 3NE
|Gwent Archives [Formerly Gwent Record Office]
Blaenau Gwent NP23 6DN
|Gwynedd Archive Service
Gwynedd LL55 1SA
|Gwynedd Archives Service,
Gwynedd LL40 2YF0
|Pembrokeshire Record Office
|West Glamorgan Archive Service
Swansea, SA1 3SN
|National Library of Wales
Ceredigion SY23 3BU
|Brynkir Woollen Mill
Gwynedd LL51 9YU
|The Cambrian Woollen Mill
Ceredigion SA44 5RL
|Elvet Woollen Mill
Carmarthenshire SA33 6TS
Nr Newcastle Emlyn
Carmarthenshire SA44 5UJ
St. Fagans: National History Museum
Cardiff CF5 6XB
02920 573 500
|The Woollen Mill
Middle Mill, Solva
Pembrokeshire SA62 6XD
c/o National Wool Museum
Carmarthenshire SA44 5UP
|Trefriw Woollen Mill
Pembrokeshire SA62 5UX
|Sioni Rhys Handweavers
Hen Efail, Pandy
Gwent NP7 8DS
|Riitta Sinkkonen Davies Handweaving
Pembrokeshire SA62 4LE
|Snail Trail Handweavers
Pembrokeshire SA43 2TP
33 Ffordd y Felin
Pembrokeshire SA62 5AX