Llanddewi Brefi was once self-sufficient with its own carpenter, stonemason, smithies, tailors, cobblers, millers and weavers and of course it is on the route of the famous Drovers that took livestock across the Cambrian Mountains on the way to London and the markets.
Llanfair House, also known as Smith House, is where oxen used to be shoed before they were driven to London on foot. In Derry Row there was a barber’s shop, a saddler and a pump maker. In Morfa there was a stone cutter’s workshop.
The Llanio Milk Factory by Pont Llanio beside the railway line was a busy site providing many jobs for local people from 1937 until it closed on 30th September 1970. The railway was opened around 1866 and closed 20th February 1965. However the milk train kept running for 5 more years.
In the past water power provided the energy to drive machinery and there are traces of mills along the leat which runs through Ash Street down to Glanydon and along to Mill Street and the site of the flour mill. Power was needed for the machinery in the sock factories in Ochorgarth and London Shop. The socks were sent to Glamorgan via the train from Pont Llanio. There were also woollen factories in Foelallt and where Brynllan and Llwynonn stand today.
The first electricity to supply village homes with lights arrived in 1931. It operated from machinery in Penbont. Water was brought to the Dôlgam well in 1890 at a cost of £60. The constant flow of water running day and night for public use was provided from a tap in the wall of the Foelallt Arms.
Based on extracts from ‘Yr Ancr’ magazine, research work completed by pupils of Ysgol Gynradd Llanddewi Brefi in the 1970’s and their Headmaster, the late Mr. Ben Richards.
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