Agriculture and Malltraeth

Malltraeth is a small village within the rural community of Bodorgan, surrounded by agricultural land; agriculture being the main industry in the locality. This page shows some historical features of the agricultural community.
rafonhuw
'Rafon Huw' - The Welsh Black Supreme Champion for 2011, owned by Mr Richard Hughes, Glanrafon,
a Past President of the Welsh Black Cattle Society and shown by his son John.


rhydmaendu
Rhyd Maen Du, Malltraeth (Eric Jones).

The only smallholding located within the village of Malltraeth, is Rhyd Maen Du, the current owner of which has close family links with the old water driven corn mill, Felin Gwna, which is located near Bodorgan railway station.

felin_gwna_mill_1w
Felin Gwna Corn Mill, Bodorgan. (Photo courtesy John Parry).

Felin Gwna mill was built in 1830 by John Griffith, on land leased from the Llys Dulas Estate. He milled corn there until his death in 1863, when his son John took over.  The freehold of the property was acquired by the Meyrick Estate in the 1870's. On the death of the second John in 1909, his son, also named John continued the family business until the early 1950's, when the mill fell into disuse, as it needed extensive repairs, which were not economically viable. The family gave up the tenancy in 1973.
felin_gwna_mill_1grinding_wheelsw
The corn grinding stones lying outside the bulding which is now overgrown with ivy.(2009).

The water to drive the millwheels was diverted from the River Gwna by the use of sluice gates. Those were located near the original Trefdraeth Parish vicrage at Tir-na-Nog, and diverted water for the mill into a channel which eventually ran down to the wooden trough that can be seen in the first photo of the mill above. The metal mechanism that can be seen above the end of the trough, above the wheel operated the flap valve that determined the amount of water that powered the wheel. During World War II the mill operated day and night milling corn produced by local farmers. The night shift was worked by Jon Griffith himself. The farmers paid the miller by means of a scoop of flour from every sack, to feed his own pigs, which were then sold on to local butchers.

felin_gwna_mill_1_gear_wheel
The internal gear wheels from the mill, as seen in 2009.

This recent colour photo below, shows the second mill at Felin Gwna. This was located in a smaller bulding downstream of the corn mill, and was used to chop beet for animal feed, and to drive a workshop.
felin_gwna_inside_2009w

RAF Bodorgan
During the second world war, the Air Ministry took over a part of the Meyrick Estate at Bodorgan, and built the camp that was known as RAF Bodorgan. There were extensive buildings on the site, that also had a grass runway, and remnants of its military past can still be seen today. The camp opened in 1940, and was closed at the end of September 1945. It was used as a launching site for pilotless Queen Bee aircraft (converted Tiger Moths), and for towed targets which were drawn behind Lysanders and Martinets which were used as targets for RA air-gunners at the nearby Ty Croes artillery range.
rafbod3
Some of the remains of RAF Bodorgan.(Eric Jones).

At the end of the war, there were extensive shortages of food, and the land reverted back to the Estate, who used it for food production. A large area was used for growing potato crops,grain and a dairy herd was established, using the old military buildings as a milking parlour. This provided work for the local villages, and extensive seasonal work for several Malltraeth people.

bodest3b
The milking herd at the old camp (Geoff Charles-copyright,National Library of Wales).

bodest3a
Working in the potato fields at the camp.(Geoff Charles-copyright,National Library of Wales).
Elin Mary Jones (Aberffraw) and Huw Jones, Tyddyn Bwrtas on the planter.

thresshing1930s
Threshing corn in the 1930's using oil power.