History of Black Pool Mill
Named for the deep, dark pool on the River Cleddau, Black Pool Mill replaced a 18th century iron furnace and forge. The imposing Grade II* listed Georgian building we now see, was built to use water power to grind wheat for flour. The current machinery you will see inside the building was installed in 1901 and has been preserved as part of Pembrokeshire’s industrial heritage. The beautiful old building has been given a new and exciting role as a heritage dining experience for both visitors and local people.
The land on which Black Pool Mill sits was once part of the Slebech Estate, which in the 11th Century was gifted to the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St John.
Following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII, Slebech Estate was sold by the Crown to Thomas & Roger Barlow — wealthy Tudor magnates.
First evidence of iron smelting on the site.
Letters patent granted for the erection of two forges and a furnace.
The mill's owner's eldest son, Nathanial Phillips, replaces the iron forge with the existing mill - a large grist mill constructed mainly from limestone.
The mill was insured to include a corn mill and grinding stones, a water wheel, storehouses, stables and pigsties (adjoining but detached); dwelling houses and offices nearby.
Floodgates destroyed by the Rebecca Riots, in protest against the economic and social conditions of the time.
Black Pool Mill is part of a small parish called Newton with a population of only 56 people; four of whom lived in Black Pool Mill: miller Thomas Pollett and his family.
The mill equipment is replaced. The wheel was scrapped in place of a turbine.
Following further upgrades to the equipment, it was claimed that Black Pool was the only mill for miles around capable of grinding wheat and making flour.
Sieves were removed by the order of the government, preventing the illegal production of flour. The mill started to be used more for storage rather than grinding.
With the introduction of electricity, the old machinery became redundant and instead, the building was used mainly for storage by local farmers.
An extensive restoration programme was started by Lady Victoria Dashwood, to convert the mill into a tourist attraction and tearoom. Visitors could see some of the restored machinery in action.
Bluestone restoration works commence to transform the mill into a spectacular heritage restaurant, with dining across the ground and first floors (also home to private dining rooms). The second floor is devoted to a state-of-the-art kitchen.
Black Pool Mill Restaurant opens its doors to the first customers. Access to the mill is greatly enhanced with a passenger lift to the upper three floors, and dumbwaiters installed for food service across all levels.