Sussex Mills Group Web Site - Home Page
Sussex Windmills
Sussex Watermills
Sussex Windmills and Watermills Open to view
Sussex Mill Tours, Meetings, Lectures and other Events
Links to Mills in Sussex and further afield
Sussex Mills Group Contacts
Site Map of Sussex Mills Group Web Site
Sussex Mills Group
Sussex Mills Group
IL 1831
Sussex Mills Group
Sussex Mills Group
Sussex Mills Group
Sussex Mills Group
Sussex Mills Group
Sussex Mills Group
Sussex Mills Group

On Saturday April 3rd 2004, members and guests assembled at Dallington School for a tour of Sussex Mills organised by Bob Bonnett.

A series of information sheets providing details of the tour and a map was given out. Before moving off a visit to view the remains of the two storey octagonal base of Dallington Smock Mill was made after negotiating a metal gate and walking across a field, the wind being quite strong on this exposed point.

Dallington Mill was built about 1851 for Mr. Albert Geering, and demolished in 1912, a photograph of its demolition being shown on one of the information sheets. Many photographs were taken of the remains before returning to the cars.

  Dallington

A series of information sheets providing details of the tour and a map was given out. Before moving off a visit to view the remains of the two storey octagonal base of Dallington Smock Mill was made after negotiating a metal gate and walking across a field, the wind being quite strong on this exposed point. Dallington Mill was built about 1851 for Mr. Albert Geering, and demolished in 1912, a photograph of its demolition being shown on one of the information sheets. Many photographs were taken of the remains before returning to the cars.

The next mill visited was Park Watermill at Batemans. After arriving at the car park of this National Trust property, we were escorted by Alan Wilmshurst, one of the volunteer millers, past the Jacobean house of Batemans, to the mill. Park Mill was built in the late 18th century and was worked by a number of millers from the Skinner and Russell families. All the machinery is intact and mainly made of wood. The turbine, which is outside adjacent to the waterwheel, is a vortex type manufactured by Gilbert Gilkes. The turbine operated at 280 r.p.m. producing 4 HP, which was sufficient to charge 50 lead acid batteries during the day to light the house of Batemans at night. A switchboard in a small building next to the turbine was open for viewing. During the time of our visit, the mill was grinding.

The next mill on the tour was Brightling Saw Mill, which is located in a valley beyond Brightling village where, in the churchyard could be seen Fullers Pyramid, one of many follies erected by Jack Fuller in this area. Brightling Saw Mill, possibly the only water powered saw mill in Sussex, was approached from the road by a track. The original mill was constructed of wood, but the main structure was replaced by a brick building in the early years of the 20th century. Now sadly in a state of dereliction, some of the walls are still standing, but many trees cover the site. Some machinery could be seen, including some of the shafting to control the operation of the leat, the saw bench complete with saw mounted on rollers to run on a track and the framework of the original waterwheel manufactured by Neve Brothers in 1891. Many items were seen outside of the brick walls. These included remains of sliding wooden doors and a very derelict wagon. The last time SIAS members visited the mill was on 6th August 1994 when more of the structure survived, but was more difficult to see due to the leaves on the trees. It started raining as we left the saw mill, but as lunch was next, it was not a problem.

Lunch had been arranged at the Netherfield Arms, where most members had a meal and liquid refreshments. From the car park of the Netherfield Arms, a view of Kings Head Mill at Caldbec Hill, Battle could be seen, the next mill we were to visit.
Battle  

On arrival at Kings Head Mill the rain had stopped. The mill, now converted into luxurious accommodation, was originally carried out by Mr. A. N. Neve after he bought the mill in 1924, but further improvements have since been made. When the mill was erected in 1805, it drove three pairs of peak stones. Unfortunately it was only possible to view the outside of the mill during our visit, where members were able to see the white smock mill fitted with four aluminium sweeps and fan.

The next mill actually visited was Hellingly Watermill, but on the way it was possible to view Windmill Hill Windmill where only the centre post and brick roundhouse could be seen through the scaffolding and netting. The main part of the mill has been dismantled and taken to the workshops of IJP near Henley-on-Thames for restoration. Jonathan Minns and his wife Vanessa welcomed us at Hellingly Watermill, although parking proved difficult due to the narrow road. Jonathan, the founder of the British Engineerium at Hove, purchased the watermill and the adjacent house and ground in 1974. Restoration at the time included the installation of a new iron overshot wheel as well as fitting a new penstock and sluice gates. Inside the mill some machinery could be seen on two floors, although the building is basically a store room. An album showing photographs of the mill over the years was also made available for inspection.

The remains of Harebeating Post Mill, built about 1820 just outside Hailsham, was the next mill site visited. Only the two storey brick roundhouse and the centre post with part of the crown tree survives. Some members had the opportunity to meet Mr. Blackmore in the mill house, where he showed photographs of the original mill and drawings of the proposed construction to be placed on top of the remains, incorporating many of the original parts.

The final mill visited on the tour was Polegate Windmill. Lawrence Stevens and Bertha Terry were there to greet us, and after a refreshing cup of tea, rock cakes and biscuits, members were given guided tours of the mill. The Leather Millstone Measure mentioned in the January 2004 Newsletter was seen in the Museum as well as other artefacts.

In conclusion, Bob Bonnett was thanked for organising an excellent tour covering a wide variety of wind and watermills as well as sites of mills in this part of Sussex. We look forward to another Sussex Mills Tour in 2005, starting from Windmill Hill Windmill, which should be almost completed by then.

  Polegate
National Mills Weekend
Out Of County Tour 2003
Out Of County Tour 2004
Sussex Mills Tour 2003
Sussex Mills Tour 2004
Sussex Mills Tour 2005
Out Of County Tour 2005 Sussex Mills Tour 2006
Out Of County Tour 2007 Sussex Mills Tour 2007

 
Sussex Mills Group logo

Text :
Robin Jones

Photos :
Robert Pike






Website Design : Simon Potter
Website Design : Simon Potter














Sussex Mills Group logo

Text :
Robin Jones

Photos :
Robert Pike






Website Design : Simon Potter
Website Design : Simon Potter














Sussex Mills Group logo

Text :
Robin Jones

Photos :
Robert Pike






Sussex Mills Group logo

Text :
Robin Jones

Photos :
Robert Pike









Website Design : Simon Potter
Website Design : Simon Potter

Site Map