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Flowing life back into a 14th Century Grade II listed watermill

Melin Watermill render

Melin Hywel is a historic Grade II* listed watermill in the UK, dating back to 1335. The mill was in full operation as a corn mill until just fifteen years ago, but has not been used for it’s intended purpose since then. The building gained its Grade II* listing in 1971 due to its immense vernacular character and particular importance as it represents an example of a rapidly disappearing building type once common in the rural landscape and the only working watermill remaining on Anglesey.

The owners planned to restore the building and machinery, and make them the prime feature for a new residential bed and breakfast business.

The mill was built on sloping rocky ground beside a small river, with a mill pond and leat supplying water, and lots of changes of elevation on rock and behind stone retaining walls.

The original mill building was extended in 1850, and restored in 1975 and 1985. This has resulted in a building with:

  • stone walls up to 1.2m thick
  • floors on several different levels
  • roofs with varying shapes, heights and directions
  • windows and doors with a variety of shapes and sizes

To get approval for the change of use the owners had to prepare detailed drawings suitable for approval by Planning and Cadw (Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales).

The team needed to understand every feature of this unique structure, to allow them to create a new business while fully respecting the historic character of the mill and decided to complete the architectural work themselves. Taking on the role of architect, they needed a suitable architectural software package and found out that there were more than twenty packages available. Their CAD requirements included:

  • 3D CAD – to allow us to better understand our complicated structure
  • 2D CAD – to provide us with drawings suitable for a planning submission
  • Capable of handling a complex structure
  • Building Regulation details
  • Integrated interior design
  • User friendly

Arcon lived up to it’s promise, and they were able to create the drawings needed for their planning application. Using Arcon they were able to build complex models and merging complex roof shapes.

A one-stop solution for all planning and design CAD requirements: book a free demo to experience Arcon Evo by Elecosoft.

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