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Anglesey, being an island on the west coast of Britain, can sometimes be a very windy place. The abundance of wind provided a useful source of energy and during the 18th and 19th century almost 50 windmills were built around the island to grind grain and pump water. Many of these are now in disrepair or have disappeared.


Standing majestically over the landscape, they have provided inspiration for many local artists. The following artworks celebrate these unusual buildings.


You can read more about the Windmills of Anglesey on my web site: https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/. You can also see a video of a talk I gave about them at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZLkFHxrhsA

14 artworks

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Melin Gallt-y-Benddu, Llannerch-y-Medd

Construction of this mill began on 8 September 1737 and it was finished on 24 October 1738 (the precise dates known thanks to the diary of Anglesey landowner William Bulkeley). It ground grain for over 150 years, but was seriously damaged by a storm at the end of the 19th century. It was converted to a dwelling in 1964.

Windmill at Llannerchymedd
Fred Uhlman (1901–1985)
Oil on board
H 30.6 x W 39.5 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin Wynt Llannerch-y-medd / Llannerch-y-medd Mill
© Oriel Ynys Môn. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin Gallt-y-Benddu, Llannerch-y-Medd

Another view of Melin Gallt-y-Benddu, from around 1955, by the renowned Kyffin Williams. Read more about this windmill at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinGalltyBenddu/.

Melin Wynt Llannerch-y-medd / Llannerch-y-medd Mill c.1955
Kyffin Williams (1918–2006)
Olew ar gynfas / oil on canvas
H 52 x W 69.5 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin Stanley / Stanley Mill
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin y Gof (Stanley Mill), Trearddur Bay

Named after the local landowning family the Stanleys of Penrhos, this mill overlooking Trearddur Bay is also called Melin y Gof. It was probably built starting in 1826. It was pictured in The Times newspaper on 16 September 1936, where it states the mill had just closed, one of the last on Anglesey still in use.

Melin Stanley / Stanley Mill 1938
Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)
Olew ar fwrdd / oil on board
H 39 x W 31 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin Stanley / Stanley Windmill
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin y Gof (Stanley Mill), Trearddur Bay

Harry Hughes Williams returned to the mill several times to paint it, including this more atmospheric view. In November 1938 a storm blew the cap and sails off, so this painting predates that. It was converted into a dwelling in the 1960s.

Melin Stanley / Stanley Windmill c.1940
Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)
Dyfrlliw ar bapur / watercolour on paper
H 18.3 x W 26.4 cm
Oriel Môn

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Stanley Mill, Trearddur, Anglesey
© the copyright holder. Photo credit: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Melin y Gof (Stanley Mill), Trearddur Bay

Charles Wilfred Howarth was also drawn to Melin y Gof, producing this painting from a similar viewpoint to Williams'. Read more about Melin y Gof at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinyGof/

Stanley Mill, Trearddur, Anglesey
Charles Wilfred Howarth (1893–1980)
Oil on board
H 42.7 x W 54.7 cm
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

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Mynydd Parys
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Parys Mountain Windmill

Most windmills on Anglesey ground grain, but the one on Parys Mountain, near Amlwch, pumped water out of the copper mines. Sitting high above the open cast pit and overlooking the surrounding landscape the squat tower, now lacking its sails, can be seen from miles around. Read more about it at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/ParysMountain/.

Mynydd Parys
Gwilym Prichard (1931–2015)
Oil on canvas
H 73 x W 91 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin, Gaerwen / Mill, Gaerwen
© Oriel Môn. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin Maengwyn, Gaerwen

One of three windmills in Gaerwen, Melin Maengwyn was originally owned by the Plas Newydd estate. A stone tablet over the door has the date 1802 and the initials H E W, in honour of H.E. Williams, the first miller. It was sold around 1860 to a baker from Liverpool, Hugh Pritchard, whose descendents still own the mill and land. A storm during the First World War destroyed the cap, leaving it an empty, roofless shell. Read more about this mill at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinMaengwyn/.

Melin, Gaerwen / Mill, Gaerwen 1960–1980
Kyffin Williams (1918–2006)
Inc ar bapur / ink on paper
H 39.5 x W 59 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin yr Ogof
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin yr Ogof, Kingsland, Holyhead

Oriel Môn is fortunate to have many of Harry Hughes Williams preparatory sketches as well as his finished paintings. This drawing of Melin yr Ogof, in Kingsland, Holyhead, set the scene for his finished work below.

Melin yr Ogof 1940–1940
Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)
Pensil ar bapur / pencil on paper
H 10.7 x W 13 cm
Oriel Môn

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Yr Ogof Windmill
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin yr Ogof, Kingsland, Holyhead

This windmill was built around 1825, also on land owned by the Stanleys of Penrhos. It was run for decades by farmer Hugh Hughes. When he died in 1869 it was inherited by his two daughters, Margaret and Mary. It continued working until around 1920 when a crack was discovered in part of the structure supporting the windshaft, which proved too costly to repair. The storm-damaged cap was removed in 1939 and it was roofed over, protecting the grinding machinery which remain inside to this day. Read more at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinyrOgof/.

Yr Ogof Windmill c.1942
Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)
Oil on board
H 61 x W 76.2 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin y Graig, Llangefni
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin Wynt-y-Craig, Llangefni

When Harry Hughes Williams did his sketch of the windmill at Llangefni,the surrounding area was all farmland with a couple of farm buildings. Also known as Melin y Graig, today it stands on its rock outcrop overlooking a large housing estate.

Melin y Graig, Llangefni 1920–1953
Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)
Pensil ar bapur / pencil on paper
H 13.6 x W 18.8 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin y Graig, Llangefni
© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin Wynt-y-Craig, Llangefni

Melin Wynt-y-Craig was built sometime between 1828 and 1833. It closed in 1893 after just 60 years of milling. The steep outcrop on which it stood may have made it difficult for farmers to bring their grain up to it, although the position would have been ideal for capturing the wind. Its sails are clearly deteriorating in this painting. In the mid 1990s the mill tower was restored and converted into a mobile phone mast. Read more at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinWyntyCraig/.

Melin y Graig, Llangefni 1948
Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)
Pensil a dyfrlliw ar bapur / pencil & watercolour on paper
H 24.5 x W 35 cm
Oriel Môn

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Mona Windmill
Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin y Borth (Mona Mill), Amlwch Port

Overlooking the harbour at Amlwch, this is not only the tallest windmill on Anglesey, but also the only one built of bricks. It was built in 1816 by the Paynters, a prominent family that moved from Cornwall to Amlwch in the 1770s to get involved in copper mining at Parys Mountain. At its height its four millstones could grind 70 bushels of corn an hour. It closed in the early 20th century and is now an empty shell, with the surrounding buildings long gone. Read more at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinyBorth/.

Mona Windmill
A. Brindle
Oil on canvas
H 30 x W 45.5 cm
Oriel Môn

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Melin Adda
© Oriel Ynys Môn. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin Adda, Amlwch

Another windmill in Amlwch is Melin Adda. It probably dates from the 1790s and was closed in 1912. It deteriorated until the 1970s, when it was capped with a simple conical roof and turned into a dwelling. Around 2003 a new peaked roof was added along with a set of wooden beams that emulate the original sails. Read about it at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinAdda/.

Melin Adda 1941
Harry Hughes Williams (1892–1953)
Oil on canvas
H 70 x W 92.5 cm
Oriel Môn

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Hermon
© Oriel Ynys Môn. Photo credit: Oriel Môn

Melin Hermon

Finally, one of Kyffin Williams' rural landscapes, featuring the windmill at Hermon, near Bodorgan. It was built by the Meyrick family of Bodorgan, with construction starting on 8 May 1743, according to the diarist William Bulkeley of Brynddu. It ground grain until the early 20th century and is now an empty roofless tower. Read more at https://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/windmills/MelinHermon/.

Hermon
Kyffin Williams (1918–2006)
Oil on canvas
H 91 x W 91 cm
Oriel Môn