THE GRADE II listed, seventeenth century mill at Llanyrafon in Torfaen is unique to this part of Wales.

It contains a French stone milling system (using three pairs of millstones) – the next nearest example being at Carew in Pembrokeshire.

A mill was known to have been on the site since the middle ages but the first reference to the existing mill was in the 1630s when it was part of the large Morgan family estate.

Later it was owned by the Edlogan estates and the Griffiths and the Laybourne families of Llanyrafon.

In 1921, the mill was leased by miller Tom Wait and his family lived in the cottage behind.

Nigel Jones, of the Friends of Llanyravon Mill, wrote: “Tom [Wait] regularly milled grain brought by local farmers, and often visited the Corn Exchange near Newport docks to negotiate for a load of corn. This would be transported to Llantarnam railway station before the back-breaking task of transferring the sacks of corn from the railway wagon to a horse and cart.

“In 1929 Tom obtained his first lorry, which expanded the area [from] where he could collect grain and deliver [his] milled products.”

The mill ceased working in the early 1950s after the Wait family left Llanyrafon and fell into dereliction.

A fire in the early 1970s caused more damage. The Cwmbran Development Corporation, who had purchased the mill five years earlier, were then forced to try and find a way forward for the mill and ensure its survival.

Today, the mill is owned by Torfaen County Borough Council and the guardians of the site are The Friends of Llanyrafon Mill.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.