NEWSLETTER No. 2. April 1974.
The Crawley U D C, have agreed terms for the purchase of Ifield Water Mill
from its present owner and hope to preserve it and incorporate it and its mill
pond into an amenity area. The Society has offered assistance if needed, both
for advice and restoration work
The Society is co-operating closely with the Committee for the Promotion of a
Southern Industrial History Centre whose Chairman, John Warren, is one of our
members; The Society's Chairman and Secretary were invited to attend one of
their Committee Meetings recently,
SUSSEX INDUSTRIAL FAMILIES
We recently visited the sixteenth century Bartley Mill at TQ634353 not far
from Lamberhurst. The present tenant Mr. A.G. Smith had kindly offered a fine
pair of beam scales for our project at Bateman's.
We were told that for many years up to the 1920's the family of Arnolds had
tenanted the mill and had not only been prominent in the use of steam traction
on a large scale but during the 1880's had been one of the very early people in
the U.K. to manufacture motor cars,, a batch of six being produced and of which
one is still in existence, The firm have grown to a considerable size since
those days with an organisation now centred on East Peckham in Kent. We hope to
report further on this industrial family,, the manner of their growth and some
details of the cars which were built. Meanwhile this is a reminder that there
are a number of other Sussex families who have played a considerable part in the
founding and development of Sussex industries, We Should welcome notes and
stories from members on this subject,
EARLY INDUSTRIAL ORGANISATIONS
W. R. Beswick.
The date of incorporation into societies or companies sometimes provides an
indication of the point in time at which a craft or trade grew to an importance
and size worthy of recognition by the Crown or State. Thus if we take the use
and treatment of iron and steel as an example we find that the sequence is on
the following lines.
One of the earliest crafts using iron was that of the Farriers who had their
beginning in Henry de Ferraris who himself was the Master of the Horse to
William the Conqueror. The arms were "three horseshoes azure". Next
seem to have been the Company of Cutlers early in the reign of Henry V and the
arms were "six swords salterways proper". The Company of Armourers
came into being in the early part of the reign of Henry VI, he himself being a
member, and indeed during those times the making of armour must have been a very
reassuring part-time Royal hobby to acquire. The arms were impressive, showing a
collection of ironmongery which included helmets, swords and a buckler.
The Tudor programme of iron production, particularly on the Weald, gave
importance to the craft of the smith both for the conversion of cast iron to
wrought iron in the hammer mills, and country wide for the manufacture of
products in wrought iron. Queen Elizabeth I granted their arms of a
"chevron between three hammers crowned" during the twentieth year of
Her reign. The foundry trade was recognised by James the First of England, which
is about the time at which one might expect the trade in both cast iron and in
bronze to spread from mainly military to general products.
It must be kept in mind that the purpose of a trade in gaining recognition was
to control both the trade itself and the labour within it, the approach being
restrictive. The date given are of mainly London Companies and are taken from
Howel's London of 1657.
OLD WATER PUMPING STATION AT ARUNDEL
There is an interesting old water pumping station near Swanbourne Lake on
the Duke of Norfolk's Estate at Arundel, at TQ01810774. This comprises a
vertical-shaft, reaction type water turbine driving, through double-reduction
gears, two three-throw force pumps which originally pumped water up to a
reservoir about 200 yards away on the adjacent hill to supply the town of
Arundel. The date, 1844, was carved on a part of the reservoir wall, which makes
the installation a comparatively early one for a water turbine drive.
The building housing the turbine and pumps, which has been roofless for some 10
years, has a distinctly ecclesiastical appearance. Fig. I shows the upstream
side and part of the head-pond fed from Swanbourne Lake; the bypass sluice and
the trash-rack in front of the turbine inlet sluice can also be seen. Fig.2
shows the downstream side, the tail-pond (tidal and nearly dry in the
photograph) and the discharge openings of the bypass and turbine outlet sluices.
The head of water is about 10' at low tide.
Fig. 3 shows the bevel drive from the turbine, and the two lay-shafts; while
Fig. 4 shows one of the pumps and the wooden-toothed final spur-wheel of the
double reduction gearing. As the machinery is nearly all of cast iron with
bronze bushes it is in remarkably good condition after 10 years exposure to the
weather. The turbine ,'being completely drowned in the tail-race, is probably
still in excellent condition. I understand that the pumps have been turned over
by hand within the last two years. There is no maker's name on the machinery and
unfortunately all records and drawings of the equipment appear to have been lost
The water supply arrangements, as shown on a drawing of 1895, are of particular
interest. One of the pumps is supplied by a suction pipe from the head-pond but
the other is fed by a suction pipe from an old well (now disused), which is laid
in a spacious culvert for about 40 yards. This has a plentiful supply of water
running down it which enters the culvert from some unknown source and, running
through the basement of the pump-house, discharges into the tail-pond. The
future of the installation is uncertain at present but it does not seem to be
Figs 1 to 4 - Swanbourne Pump House
WATER SUPPLY TO BRAMBLETYE MILL
The very dry weather during the Spring of 1973 uncovered some old timbers in
the bed of a stream about 500 yards below Weir Wood Reservoir at TQ41153537.
Fig. 5 shows a photograph of these timbers. It was thought at first that these
might be the remains of an old water mill but an inspection of the site showed
that the timbers were just where the old stream to Brambletye Mill, 600 yards
away, left the present stream, as shown in Fig. 6. A survey of the surrounding
area also revealed a straight shallow, sloping ditch, with a hollow near its
lower end, leading from the stream to the adjacent River Medway.
An inspection of O.S. and other maps showed that the part of the stream between
points A and B (Fig.6) does not appear on any map until the 21" O.S. map
published in 1965. The 7th Edition of the 1" O.S. map, published in 1960
(revised up to 1957) does not show it but the 8th Edition, published in 1967,
does. All earlier maps show the stream flowing straight on to Brambletye Mill,
although the old stream-bed, now dry, is some 4' to 5° above the bed of the
present stream. The ditch from C to D, though plainly visible on the ground,
does not appear on any map.
All the records show only one mill at Brambletye at TQ41683527, and the probable
interpretation is that the timbers at point A are the remains of a sluice on the
stream feeding Brambletye Mill pond, and the ditch C to D was a bypass to the
River Medway, with the sluice where the hollow is, near point D. The cut from A
to B would have been made when Brambletye Mill was closed down (it was destroyed
in 1968/69) and, in view of the considerable difference in level between the old
stream-bed and the present stream-bed, it may have been made much earlier-than
its first appearance on an O.S. map.