SUSSEX INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY GROUP
The Council for British Archaeology, in association with the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, began the National Survey of Industrial Monuments in 1963, its job to record the surviving evidence of industrial development, particularly that dating from the 18th century. The national record is based on special report cards, completed by volunteers, and then collected and classified at Bath University of Technology. With these cards it then becomes possible to assess the importance of an industrial monument or other relic in order to ensure the preservation of the best type examples. There are groups in regions or counties acting as co-ordinating centres for onward transmission of these cards to Bath. Here they are copied and re-turned.
The position in Sussex is that with the exception of watermill cards from Mr. Frank Gregory and tollhouse cards from Mr. Brian Austen's survey group, very little has been done towards fulfilling this urgent need for the National Survey. Urgent because of the continued destruction or decay of the surviving ground evidence with which we are having to deal. The time for action must be now.
Using the Record Cards
Stanmer Park, donkey wheel (TQ336096). Restoration has been conducted by Brighton Corp-oration. The alarming growth of ivy has been removed from the roof of the well house, which has been completely retiled. It now remains to restore the wheel.
Burwash, Park Mill Batemans (TQ670237). The Group has now agreed with the National Trust the basis on which it is to look after the restoration of this 18th century watermill with its three pairs of stones and auxiliary gear. A project team has made a survey of the building and the machinery, following which cost estimates are being prepared for the Trust. During the Summer, working parties will carry out the first stages of restoration, including cleaning out debris and treating timbers and machinery with pesticides and preservatives. It is hoped that the ground floor will be rebuilt and better access provided during this time. Members wishing to take part in this work should contact Mr. W. R. Beswick (address p.8).
Burwash, Batemans, Turbine Generator. Adjacent Park Mill is this plant installed by Kipling in 1902 to generate his own electricity. Restoration procedure is now in hand with Colonel Hawkins acting in a local advisory capacity. Arrangements have been made for the turbine to be taken to the Royal School of Military Engineering, Chatham, where it is to be restored to full working order. There will also be associated work by the Royal Engineers to clear and clean the pond and dam.
Hurstpierpoint, Cobbs Mill (TQ274189). This is a working watermill, in commercial operation about four years ago. Members interested in seeing this put in order again should contact Mr. Frank Gregory (address p.8). He will be directing some renovation work and requires assistance.
Windpumps. These steel structures have been mainly used for water pumping and/or electrical generation. Few are now working, and one day, like windmills, will be lost features of the past. Representative examples are being recorded. Work is being carried out in the Uckfield R.D.C. area by the Uckfield & District Preservation Society. One of their members has restored a windpump at Wimsey Hill, Nether Lane, Nutley. Information on these machines should be sent to Mr. Gregory.
Rottingdean, windmill at Beacon Hill (TQ366025). This smock mill has been in
a steady state of deterioration for many years. Probably dating from the 18th
century, it was removed to its present site in 1802 (Sussex Weekly Advertiser,
June 7th 1802). Milling ceased by or before the First World War. In 1935 the
fantail, stage, and stones were removed for safety. Since then the mill has been
developing a dangerous deformity, and is at present guyed by two steel stays. It
is known by its outline the world over, being the original of Heinemann's
house-motif carried on all their books. If sufficient funds are collected by the
Rottingdean Preservation Society a steel framework will be inserted. Donations
may be sent to Miss J. E. Seymour, 64 Dean Court Road, Rottingdean, Brighton.
The Tollhouse and Milestone Survey
Milestones - A Brighton-Horsham milestone.
Bow-Bell Milestones. This is the finest surviving series in the county, between Felbridge - Uckfield - Hailsham (A22), and Uckfield -Lewes(A26), see N/L 2, p.4. Messrs. David Butler and Kim Leslie have prepared a report on their individual present condition, with a full photographic record, accompanied by a site map by Miss Jane Goode, for presentation to East Sussex County Council. The result of this work is that the County Surveyor has agreed to take action in the case of those badly needing treatment, and to resite or protect any felt to be in situations likely to cause further deterioration. The report has shown that no. 44 on the A26 south of Uckfield is missing, and that no. 55 is in a private garden in Hailsham. No. 44 will most probably be recast, based on the duplicate 44 on the A22 route. At present no. 53 from Lower Dicker is on display at the Wealden Ironmasters Exhibition at Batemans, Burwash, on temporary loan from the County Council.
Railway Architecture Survey
The Hope Brewery appears to have had about 20 public houses, most of them in Sussex, but with one in Kent (The Crown, Cowden) and three in Surrey (Prince of Wales, Baldwins Hill, Royal Oak, .Dormans-land, Ship Bridge Inn, Burstow). The Southdown Brewery seems to have had about half this number, all in Sussex. However, the combined firm increased rapidly in size in 1898 by taking over 53 houses from two other brewers, Monk & Sons, Bear. Yard, Cliffe, Lewes, and the Dolphin Brewery, Cuckfield. This gave the concern property in the area bounded by East Grinstead, Burwash, Hastings, Newhaven, Warninglid and Burstow. At the time of take-over they owned 85 freehold and three leasehold licensed premises.
The Southdown and East Grinstead Breweries was liquidated on April 25th 1924, having been sold to Tamplins for £274,075. The buildings remain of only one of the breweries - the Southdown - in Daveys Lane, Lewes. Thomas Street, another approach road, is still lined with what appear to be brewery cottages. The brewery building itself, now gutted, is owned by E. O. Culverwell Ltd. A maltings formed part of the complex until demolition in 1969.
The Brewhouse of Monk & Son, of Bear Yard, has long since gone; Monk had taken over the business from the Wood family, who were brewing on the site in 1839. The Dolphin Brewery, Cuckfield, was formerly known as Goldings, then as the Kings Head Inn. It continued to be used as brewery stores throughout the period 1895-1923, but the Kings Head is not listed as one of the public houses sold to Tamplins. The Hope Brewery, East Grinstead, is not mentioned either. It was probably disposed of earlier, and the brewery site is now occupied by the gasworks.
Illustrated are photographs of two beer bottle labels of the company. Other material was to be found at the White Lion, East Grinstead, prior to rebuilding in 1965. A large stone plaque outside advertised `Southdown and East Grinstead Breweries Celebrated Ales and Stout', while inside were two large mirrors advertising the firm. The latter have been preserved by Watney Mann Ltd. A further relic is to be found on Sheffield Park Railway Station, where a metal sign advertises `Southdown and East Grinstead Breweries Ales and Stout'.
(Acknowledgements are made to Tamplins Brewery Ltd. and to Mr. N. Barber for use of his private notes on British Breweries.)
We have to record the resignation as brewery survey co-ordinator of Mr. Peter White. This is be-cause his work with the Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments has increased, as he is now i/c industrial monuments in England. He will still continue to assist this survey in Sussex, but not in an organisational capacity.
Brighton, Black Lion Street Brewery. There has been a brewery on this site since about 1545, a site which only abandoned its brewery connection in 1968 with its closure as a store and bottling plant by Fremlins of Maidstone. It is a grade 11 building, of a small group of pre-Regency buildings that still survive in Brighton. There are Victorian additions. An application has been made to Brighton Corporation for listed building consent for partial demolition on behalf of a property company. The application and plans are being investigated under the statutory provisions.
Ice House Survey
Hurstpierpoint (exact location not given by owner's request). Mrs. Holt has located a most interesting example that went with a small Georgian house in the village, now demolished. The little ice house, however, survives, now converted to a summer house. A wooden door gave access to the small ice area only three or four feet below the surface of the ground; a drain for the melt-water survives.. What is most unusual is that it was originally thatched, although now tiled. This type of roofing is a reminder of a 19th century debate on how to build an ice house - should it be well concealed, totally under ground away from the sun, or above, or partly above ground, with only a light cover? William Cobbett favoured the latter based on what he had seen when in America, and derided the more substantial forms of ice house. We have in this local example an interesting link with Cobbett's point of view.
Bognor Regis, London Road, near Public Library. Restoration is now almost complete. In this the Group has worked closely with the U.D.C. in preparing plans to make sure that nothing of significance was destroyed in the work, and that it was done as sympathetically as possible in keeping with its late 18th century date. The Group located an original inner door (rarely found) at Petworth ice house, on which the design of the inner door at Bognor has been based. Drawing for the door was by Mrs. M. Hallam of Heyshott. There will be a notice board erected shortly, explaining the function of an ice house and its key features, with text supplied by the Group, added to which will be local historical information by Mr. Gerard Young.
Iron in Sussex
Members who saw the iron smelting experiment at Horam last July will be interested to know that the results have now been published: Henry Cleere: Iron Smelting Experiments in a Reconstructed Roman Furnace, 1970. This is published by the Iron and Steel Institute, 4 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW 1., price 5/-.
Wealden Ironmasters Exhibition, Batemans, Burwash. This is a two year exhibition at Batemans, now in its final year, organised by the Wealden Iron Research Group, the Robertsbridge & District Arch-aeological Society and this Group. It traces production in the Weald from Roman times to the 1820's, by way of maps, diagrams, models and many surviving artefacts, including a water-powered tilt hammer found at East Grinstead. Open Mondays to Thursdays - 11.00 a.m. - 12.30 p.m. & 2.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 2.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. until 31st October 1970.
CHRONICLE, BBC, March 14th 1970 - "Win a Second-hand
THE OPEN AIR MUSEUM, WEST DEAN, NEAR CHICHESTER
There is much in store, including a horse round-house from Bersted, and a horse-powered chaff-cutter from Lingfield, Surrey. The further realisation of the scheme is now dependent on a public appeal for funds to raise £100,000. Also volunteer labour is needed to help prepare the site. If you can offer labour, please contact Mrs. Pamela West, 11 Selsey Avenue, Bognor Regis. In other words this is an opportunity for all interested in preservation to do something practical and valuable. The Industrial Archaeology Group is already very closely linked with the scheme. An illustrated Guide to the Museum is now avail-able, price 3/- (post free) from The Director, The Open Air Museum, West Dean, Near Chichester.
The early history of the mill is speculation, and it is not until the 17th and 18th centuries that firm documentary evidence is reached. Much valuable evidence derives from Thomas Davis's Survey of Mill House Farm, 1767, and Arundel Castle and Petworth House archives from the 1780's. What we would like to know though is why the Water Bailiff's book on the Arun of 1636 fails to give any mention of Gibbons Mill.
Apparently there were considerable extensions in the 19th
century which Mr. Adorian believes might have been to cope with an expected
increase in business from the proposed Horsham Canal - some-what misplaced
optimism! Sometime before 1882 a steam engine was installed for standby power,
and then at the turn of the century flour-milling ceased altogether with
conversion to a generating plant. Some of the original electrical equipment
survives. Another use of the turbine was for pumping water from a well, a good
example of late Victorian domestic engineering, still in working order.. As
industrial archaeology advances in Sussex we continue to be amazed at the
remarkable survivals of early equipment being recorded. Mr. Adorian's writings
prompts one to be impatient to know about the hundreds of other industrial sites
in private occupation in the county.
Arthur Young, General Yew of the Agriculture of the County
of Sussex, 2nd edn. (1813),
Besides dealing with the new model farming of the Agricultural
Revolution at Sheffield and Pet-worth Parks, there are sections on roads,
canals, iron, charcoal, gypsum, potash, bricks, lime kilns and even workhouses.
We learn of the Earl of Ashburnham's extensive lime mine in Dallington Forest,
worked on colliery principles. Here was a shaft some 80 feet deep with radiating
galleries, the winding mechanism provided by a horse gin. It is clear that this
is one of the most important of the 18th and 19th century indus-trial sites in
Sussex. Young also makes reference to the government charcoal manufactory at
Northchapel, at which reduction was made in iron cylinders, rather than the
usual open kilns. This supplied the gun-powder works at Faversham and Waltham.
Nearby, on the Petworth Estate, was erected a palatial piggery (illustrated) by
Lord Egremont to test his new theories on animal-rearing. These are just some of
the tantalizing references that can be gleaned from Young's Report, clues which
it is our responsibility to investigate and record.
INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY IN HAMPSHIRE: SOME RECENT
The gazetteer of Hampshire mills is a notable achievement - and a sharp reminder of the amount of work which awaits the industrial archaeologist. By recording any mill of which there were significant remains in the Spring of 1969 - the extremes being complete mills and those of which only the mill pond survives - the Southampton University IA. Group and helpers from other societies have collected a tally of 165 water and tide mills, of which a mere 14 were still working. The entries are necessarily brief, that for Durngate Mill reading: "Was a flour mill, now demolished. Pit wheel and stones left in position. Mill House is occupied". Before demolition, however, this mill was fully recorded by the Winchester Model and Engineering Society. Its fabric being of the late 18th century, it was "a typical example of the final development of the tradition-al English water mill". Much of the equipment shown in the excellent measured drawings was of local manufacture: the gearing in the late 19th. century at the City Foundry, Winchester, and the turbine by Armfields of Ringwood. The employment of turbines in Hampshire is carried further by D. A. E. Cross, "Hydro Electricity from the Salisbury Avon", Wiltshire Indistrial Archaeology,] (1969), and suggests work which might be done in Sussex, given the Group's interest in Batemans Mill.
The Itchen Navigation was, in its chronology, similar to other southern river navigations, being authorised by Act of Parliament in 1665 and used commercially for the last time in 1869, though untypical as the bridges over the river required sea-going vessels to tranship their cargoes into barges at Southampton for carriage to Winchester. Dr. Course makes the best of rather meagre sources. The visible remains of the Navigation are described in some detail.
It is heartening that an old-established county archaeological journal should devote so much space to - in its widest sense - industrial history. High standards of production are assured: and industrial archaeology is properly recognised as another, if new, technique for the study of the local environment in the past.
If the dust jacket blurb claims too much ("It is, in
microcosm, the story of the Industrial Revolution in the southern agricultural
counties of England"), Mr. Rolt's history of Taskers of Andover, 1809-1968,
is nevertheless important, as the first account of an agricultural machinery
manufacturer. The firm is best known for its traction engines of 1869 to 1925,
and the book must have a special attraction for the devotee of steam engines.
This account, perhaps necessarily anecdotal, does not attempt to assess the
importance of the firm as a factor in agricultural improvement, though the list
of the purchasers of "early type agricultural traction engines"
suggests that the market was in considerable degree regional and that it might
be possible to study the diffusion of the "new technology" among the
farmers of Hampshire, Wilt-shire and Dorset.
`TRANSPORT IN SUSSEX SINCE 1750'
There was general support for a further series next winter, the consensus of opinion favouring meetings of the same sort, but with more speakers from within the group, rather from outside, especially as the supply of outside speakers was strictly limited. The general wish was also to concentrate even more narrowly, or at least to move on from panoramic surveys.
The continuance of the meetings thus depends on the willingness
of this year's participants, or of newcomers who want to join in, to give talks.
So I will be very glad to receive any offers.
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