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When we first came to Roch Mill in 1999 there was a cliff was tight up against the back wall of the Granary, completely blocking access to the rear. Worse, it carried a spring-line and this oozed water onto the back of the building, soaking the walls, and slowly seeping underneath the earthen floors.

Excavation at Roch Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales To make the property habitable (by modern standards) we had to excavate the cliff and install land-drains to divert water away into the tail race and nearby river. It took 9 months to get planning permission and in February 2000 we started the excavations. In all we removed about 4000 tons of rock! Thankfully, with 6 acres of land we had lots of space on which to dump the spoil. And its been very handy to have ready access to this material over the years.

Dilapidated Mill at Roch near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales As can be seen the ground was very wet and our initial land drain very quickly filled with water. The picture below also shows an interesting building feature, the clever use of a window for the boiler flue! First footings going in at Roch Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales By this stage in the "restoration" we realised that there was little that could be restored and a fundamental re-build would have been easier.

start of kitchen extension at Roch Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

But rebuilding wasn't an option as we located are in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and our mill is listed as an ancient building. So we added an extension at the back, retained the other walls ... and one or two windows! Floors were dug up and under-floor heating installed, the walls were cleaned up, re-pointed and part rendered. All other windows and doors were replaced, the ceilings ripped out, the roofs replaced and we added new electrics, boiler, plumbing, drainage and sewage treatment plant - in the form of a reed bed.

When we originally planned the refurbishment of Roch Mill we tried hard to create a view of the gardens from the house. But the traditional Welsh cottage design made this difficult so we hit on the idea of a 'Garden Room' overlooking the water wheel and pond and connected to the house via a corridor along the mill wall.

..................Before...............................................After.............. Potential corridor at Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales Corridor at Roch Mill (after), near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales


The Garden Room was constructed using 'green oak'

Garden room build at Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Garden room build at Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Garden room

Garden room at Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

In restoring the water wheel we had to recognise that there just isn't enough water to grind flour anymore and, realistically, the best we could do would be to preserve the old machinery. This we have done and the original hurst frame and gear wheels now provide a splendid feature, behind glass, at the back of our dining room.

Mill machinery preserved behind glass

Mill machinery

TV gallery in Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales TV lounge in Roch Mill

Roch Mill near Newgale beach, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales Roch Mill

Cliff touching Granary rear wall

Roch Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Granary in 1999

Granary in 1999, Roche Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Back of Granary - a rubbish tip!

back of Granary in 1999, Roche Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Roch Mill and Granary today

Roch Mill today - outside, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Garden room foundations

Garden room foundations, Roch Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Garden room foundations, Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Garden room under construction

Garden room construction, Roch Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Garden room construction, Roch Mill, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Garden room, Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Roch Mill today - inside

Mill and gallery, Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Lounge and TV gallery

Lounge and stairs, Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Roch Mill Kitchen

Kitchen, Roch Mill near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Roch Mill Lounge

Roch Mill Lounge, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Millstone floor after renovation

Roch Mill Millstone floor after renovation, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Roch Mill Millstone floor after renovation, near St Davids and Solva Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, South West Wales

Roch Mill and Granary (Melin y Garn)