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Stori Fawr Dre-fach Felindre


" . . The Felindre of 40 or 50 years ago, with its low cottages and their warm, thatched roofs, thick eaves, small windows and clean, white-washed walls has now all but vanished, replaced by a market town of spacious, attractive houses and shops. Some of the old cottages remain, as though left to help the visitor imagine how the village once was ..." So wrote Daniel E. Jones in 1899, in his prize-winning local history Hanes Plwyfi Llangeler a Phenboyr.

At the height of the prosperity of the woollen industry, the villages of Drefach and Felindre had expanded so much that there was no division between them. Drefach had an ancient fulling mill at Dolwion and this developed into one of the earliest factories. Carding and Spinning machinery, replacing handwork, was added as early as 1820. Rebuilt on a larger scale, Dolwion finally closed in 1972.

Photograph of the Felindre information board. Text is on this page to read.

The Adams family who operated the mill were related to the Adams family of Massachusetts. They produced two Presidents of the United States of America. In 1894 Margaret Adams of Dolwion demonstrated the craft of Welsh hand-weaving at the Chicago World Fair.

Image of a lady in Welsh costumer weaving, with Uncle Sam (USA icon) watching her.

The list of names of those killed in the First World War on the War Memorial in the churchyard has a special meaning here. War contracts for uniforms - particularly flannel shirts - gave the woollen industry a last burst of prosperity before it crashed in the Depression.

Drawing of soliders fighting in the trenches during world war one.

The village is at the junction of many roads and tracks and that caused problems in 1843. Four months after storming the tollgate at Bwlchydomen and a month after others were attacked at Pont-Tyweli and Troedrhiwgribyn, `Rebecca' and her followers destroyed the tollgate here in Sgwar-y-gat (Gate Square) in 15 minutes flat! The square has greatly altered since then. St. Barnabas Church was built by the Earl of Cawdor for the growing population of the village - but most working people attended the chapels.

Drawing of the tollbooth being attacked in 1843 by Merched Beca