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Title: A history of some traditional industries in Breconshire
Author: Bowen, E.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1986
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In this study the history, location, technology and decline of some of these industries in relation to the production of food, clothing, homes, buildings and necessary tools in self sufficing communities is examined. The survey areas was the county of Breconshire as it was prior to 1974. Aspects of corn milling studied include: the early history of corn milling, the water mills of Breconshire at different periods, millers' cottages, mill lay-outs and plans, the distribution of half floor, two, and three storeyed and the turbine driven mills, types of water wheel, wheel construction, millstones and millstone quarries and corn drying kilns. As a natural corollary of sheep farming cloth making has been practised in Breconshire for centuries. The history of the woollen industry in the county is examined and the distribution and decline of fulling and woollen mills shown. Among the extractive based industries limestone quarrying and burning together with charcoal burning have been important industries in Breconshire for centuries. The history of these industries is examined and the distribution of different types of lime burning kilns discussed. Documentary and other evidence such as guilds and guild chapels at Brecon confirm a well established leather industry by 1600. The history of this industry is studied together with the distribution of leather workers and associated buildings in the court. Reasons for the decline of the industry are discussed. The importance of traditional craftsmen in self sufficing communities is examined. The role of such factors as geographical land divisions and historic and economic background in determining the character and distribution of traditional industries is discussed. Reasons are sought for the decline of traditional craftsmen in recent years. The change from the independency of the former self sufficing communities to dependency now upon imported food and tools is probably associated with many factors such as the development of communications, industrialisation, depopulation and migration and developments such as the establishment of the Milk Marketing Board in 1933 which reduced butter production and the need for associated craftsmen such as coopers. Rural co-operation has been reduced by the spread of mechanised farming, the blacksmith has been replaced by the agricultural engineer and the traditional craftsmen have become alienated and redundant in a social system with new normative values. Their craft workshops are rapidly disappearing-often times only marked by a mound of stones, a broken millstone or remembered by a place-name.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available