The Woollen Mill

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we first saw The Woollen Mill! We had been looking at properties over a long weekend, trying to find our forever home. None of the houses had excited us until we pulled up at the mill and parked by the river. I think we knew that we had found the right place the second we got out of the car!  The stunning setting and gorgeous building had us hooked long before we even so much as stepped across the threshold.

When you sit by the river admiring the views, it’s hard to believe that The Woollen Mill is just a couple of minutes from the A487 and the village of Penygroes. It’s so wonderfully peaceful here that you feel as if you are miles from anywhere. But there are so many amazing places nearby including Snowdonia, several gorgeous beaches, Caernarfon and Portmeirion. If you love wildlife, you won’t believe what you can see without even leaving the garden!

The Woollen Mill is our home and also features the Snowdon and Tryfan apartments. It is surrounded by wonderful countryside including an area of woodland directly opposite. But it is the riverside location which makes the mill so very special.



An Interesting History

Built in 1776, The Woollen Mill was originally a small factory producing slate writing boards.  In the 19th century the building was purchased by Hugh Jones of Garndolbenmaen who redeveloped it into a mill. After the mill ceased operating, the building eventually became derelict but was resurrected circa 1970 and transformed into a private dwelling. Local people often tell us that they remember seeing the woollen cloth hanging out to dry in the adjacent field while others recall playing in the building after the mill had closed down.

The Landscape

We are surrounded by glorious countryside! Walk just a few hundred yards up the lane and you can see the coast but turn around and the peaks of Snowdonia, provide a stunning backdrop to the rolling fields. Wildflowers deliver splashes of vibrant colour in the summer months and the woodland opposite The Woollen Mill is transformed into a fairytale landscape when the snow falls. There’s something to see around every corner and the star of the show is the beautiful river Llyfni which tumbles its way through the meadows, past the mill and down to the sea.

Front Garden

When we first moved in, the mill had not been occupied for some time and the garden was a hideous mess! We spent hours and hours clearing the front garden which features a series of raised beds. It was back-breaking work but we are pleased with the results. The beds are planted with a combination of shrubs, foliage and perennials. We chose flowers which attract pollinators as we wanted to encourage bees and butterflies to visit the garden and they certainly do. In the summer, it isn’t unusual to see 30 or more butterflies flitting around the garden from flower to flower.

Back Garden

The garden to the side of the property was almost as overgrown as the raised beds at the front of the building. It was in such a state that we didn’t realise we had a pond until we started clearing away dead shrubbery! As we write this, the garden is still a work in progress but already provides a pleasant place to relax by the river. We have planted fruit trees and berry bushes which should provide us with yummy treats in future years. The pond will be a wonderful feature when it is finished and we have created a small rockery next to the steps leading to the upper lawn.

The Bat Roost

If you don’t like bats, skip this section and read something else! There’s a bat roost at The Woollen Mill! It’s the stone structure to the side of the property and it provides the perfect place for bats to hang out – literally! We host hundreds of bats in the winter while during the spring and summer months, you can see our little friends flying over both the garden and the river at dusk. They are fascinating creatures and not at all creepy! Our native bats are endangered and so we are proud to help them out by providing a safe haven. If you you do happen to like bats, we have a viewing window in the basement.

The Seasons

At the Woollen Mill, each season brings a special quality to the landscape. In spring, wildflowers add  vivid colour to the meadows and there is a wonderful clarity to the light. The meadows and hedgerows are bursting with life in the summer when the river sparkles in the sunlight. Autumn delivers rich golden foliage and amazing sunsets while in winter, snow clings to the trees, creating a fairytale setting. There isn’t a bed time to visit us! Naturally, we get our fair share of rain too but maybe not as much as you might think. There’s plenty to do, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate and the mountains ensure that the outlook can change in matter of minutes.