According to a headmaster of Ysgol Blaenau, Llanwenog, Ceredigion, up to the 1870s there were three families who made felt hats at Tydŵl, Rhydlâs, Gorsgoch, (known as Tre-Troppas), Ceredigion; at Esgerlydan Fach there where many families who made hats from wool mixed with rabbit and hare fur gathered by Tomos Griffiths (Tomos y Blew) and there was a hatters’ hamlet of five cottages at Pant Swllt.
The hats were dried on ‘cast iron round planks’ (known as griddles, otherwise used for baking), heated over a peat fire. When complete, the hats were carried on the backs of the makers to Chester where they were sold, probably at the two annual fairs there.
Evan Davies, Gors Villa, Llanwenog and headmaster of Ysgol Blaenau, Llanwenog, The making of Beaver hats. Notes towards the recording of folk traditions, NLW David Thomas, B6, 1920s.
A search of the census returns for 1871, 1881 and 1891 failed to find any reference to hatters at Tydwl, Rhydlas and Pant Swllt but if hats were made there, the work might not have been the main occupation or seasonal, and the hatters might have been listed as farmers or weavers. A number of tailors, spinners and knitters were listed.
It is said that there were three cottages in Gorsgoch where hatters worked. Their names imply that their occupants were affected by the mercury used in the felting process which is supposed to have made hatters mad: Ty Dwl (mad or stupid), Ty Dwla (madder or more stupid) and Ty Dwla i gyd (completely mad or stupid). However, the published source for this information is less specific:
Ers Llawer dydd, amgylchynnid y Gorsgoch gan liaws o gabanod lle y trigai gweithwyr Blaenau Gwenog, ac ambell hatter, lipwr, a thower.
Davies, Cledyn, Hanes Llanwenog, (2001), p. 95