Nine Wells   -  Pembrokeshire, Wales


Pre 1939

From the early 1800's and up until the out break of World War II in 1939, the area was a hive of industrial activity with a woollen mill at Porth-y-Rhaw, a granite Quarry, a steam powered Pumping Station at Nine Wells, Doctors Surgery at Delfryn and three mixed farms - Mutton Farm, Pen Pant Farm and a progressive farm at Croftufty know locally as 'The 'Academy'.

The Woollen Mill at Porth-y-Rhaw

The Woollen Mill at Porth-y-Rhaw

Another view of the Woollen Mill

Originally a corn grist mill, the mill and woollen factory at Porth y Rhaw was owned and run by Mr Sylvester. To get maximum power from the stream, 3 leats were built further up the valley. On commencing work for the day, the lowest leat would be opened to increase stream flow. During the day as the leats run dry, the next one higher up would be opened. At the end of the working day, the miller closed all 3 leats so that they could refill during the night. On his way home, he probably popped by his garden for some vegetables. The millers terraced garden can be spotted on the east valley side just below the present day pond.

Once a year a sailing boat would approach Porth-y-Rhaw to which the miller rowed out to pick up his years supply of die. The mill stood for at least a hundred years before it ceased working in about 1915.

The Pumping Station at Nine Wells

On 10th June 1899, the St David's Gas and Water Bill received the royal assent.

Within a year, a steam pump was pumping water from the pumping station up to the water tower near Llanruidion (located mile along the road to St Davids on the left) from where the water gravity fed St Davids and the surrounding area.

The pumping station was decommissioned during the 1970's after which the Rose Bush reservoir in the Preseli Mountains took over the supply to St Davids and the surrounding area.

The history of the pumping station  collated by Howard Jones May 2012

The Pumping Station in the 1980's
The Pumping Station in the 1980's

The Iron Age Fort at Porth-y-Rhaw
The Iron Age Fort at Porth-y-Rhaw


The Quarry

Half way down the track to the Mill at Porth-y-Rhaw is a former quarry. Stone would have been transported by pony and trap or horse and cart.

Iron Age Fort

The seaward side of the fort has fallen hundreds of feet into the sea but the landlocked side shows just how strong the defences were. The banks and troughs are clearly visible after 2000 years. There would have been up to eight roundhouses within the safety of the defences. More information  or  much more. (new window)


Copyright 2009-15