Overview

Exterior view of the Gorse Mill
Exterior view of the Gorse Mill at St Fagans National History Museum

Gorse Mill

A small, stone-built mill (built mid-1840s) that was used to prepare gorse for feeding to horses. From the 18th century to the end of the Second World War, most Welsh farmers used horses to carry out the work of the farm.

Because of this it was important to feed horses well, and gorse was an important part of their diet. It was specially grown on a large scale but had to be bruised or crushed to make it fit to eat.

The gorse crushing machine, with heavy metal spikes fixed to the axle, was located on the ground floor and was driven directly off the waterwheel.

By about 1850, however, most such mills had been replaced by lighter and cheaper hand-operated or oil-powered machines.

Gorse Mill Map Plot

Building facts:

  • Original Location: Deheufryn farm, Dolwen, Denbighshire
  • Date originally built: c. 1845
  • Dismantled & rebuilt at St. Fagans: 1979
  • Opened to the public: 1983
  • 17th building opened to the public at the Museum
  • Visiting information