SIAS Newsletter 1


NEWSLETTER No. 1. January 1974.

In 1974 it has now become possible to publish a proper illustrated Newsletter again and we hope that this will be a regular quarterly feature in future, both interesting and informative.

The appointment of a Vice-Chairman, which was left in the hands of the Chairman at the A.G.M., has now been resolved. We are very happy to announce that Mr. P. Adorian of Gibbons Mill, Billingshurst has agreed to become our Vice-Chairman. At the A.G.M. in November 1973, Mr. Jonathan Mills, who has negotiated a lease of Goldstone Pumping Station, was invited to attend and after the meeting he told members something of his plans for the future of Goldstone. The minutes of the A.G.M. are enclosed, containing a report of his talk.

Two Members Evenings have been held this Winter; at Eastbourne on December 13th when the Chairman gave a talk, illustrated by slides, on the water-driven olive-oil mills of the South of France, and at Lewes on 17th January when Mr. $ Mrs. Farrant reviewed the industrial history and archaeology of Brighton, copiously illustrated with slides from their collection. The attendances at both evenings were rather thin, particularly at Eastbourne, where only 7 members turned up. We hope that any future Members Evenings will be better attended.

We have applied for affiliation with the Local History Committee of the Sussex Rural Community Council which has among its objects to bring local history societies together- and to facilitate the exchange of information among them. 'We shall receive copies of all publications and papers prepared by the Committee.

A well-preserved horse-gin in the grounds of a private house at Guestling, near Hastings', is shown in Figure 1 at the end of the Newsletter, and Figure 2 shows the portable horse-gin found on a farm at Ringmer, which is now to be transferred to the Agricultural Museum at Wilmington.

The C.B.A. IA Survey Officer, Keith Falconer, reports a very pertinent recom-mendation of the Derelict Land Working Party of the Professional Institutions' Council for Conservation: "Archaeologists are now interested in recent industrial remains as well as ancient 'sites and an adequate method of consultation should be established and a code of practice laid down giving reasonable time for an appraisal to be made of the historical significance of the site before reclamation commences. Reclamation should be considered to cover the consolidation' of important remains as well as site clearance". Representations must be made to local authorities to give effect to this.


1. FRISTON POST MILL SITE-Map Ref- TQ60/551983.
Excavated by Miss P. Crain, Lawrence Stevens and Richard Gilbert in 1961. Work revealed the brick plinths and associated features of the mill which collapsed in 1926 (S.N.Q. Vo1II,p.24). The miller's cottage with basement area and first floor was also recorded. Both sites of mill and cottage are now covered by a new estate. Photographs and finds are exhibited at Polegate Windmill Museum. See also Eastbourne Gazette, Jan.23rd. 1963, for article on the excavations and announcement that Miss P. Crain had become Mrs. L. Stevens!

Bolting House (c.1729) and Horizontal Windmill (1752) excavated during 1966 and 1967 by Mr. & Mrs. L. Stevens and Richard Gilbert. The rectangular Bolting House building was incorporated in the Horizontal mill designed by Thomas Mortimer of Eastbourne. The site has been left open for the public to see.

3. Sunken Post Mill Site, Pashley Down, excavated by Mr. & Mrs. L. Stevens 1968, a few yards to the north of the Bolting House/Horizontal Windmill site. Excavation of a circular depression in the ground about 15' in diameter retained by a wall nearly 4' high and composed of rough chalk and mortar. Brick plinths were placed opposite each other upon which the cross-trees would have rested. No published report.

4. SAXON PLACE, EASTBOURNE - Map Ref: TQ60/595008. "Rescue dig" led by Mrs. L. Stevens. Excavation of two Cruciform Millsteads, each being cut into the natural chalk. Millstead 99 had 8' 9" arms, 6'6" deep and 2'6" wide at the bottom. Millstead 101 had 9'3" arms, 4'6" deep and 2'6" wide at the bottom. Both millsteads were filled in with chalk rubble and earth in which there were numerous fragments of Medieval pottery, and millstone fragments of the French Burr type and a few pieces of Neidermendig. A selection of photographs and finds are on view at Polegate Windmill Museum. Noted in S.A.S. Newsletter No.4 1970, ;see Ocklynge Saxon Cemetery. No published report exists. A. view of Millstead 99 can be seen in Fig. 4 at the back of the Newsletter.

In tokens can be found a much neglected source of the history of the past to interest the industrial archaeologist. Today nobody would find in our coinage much to throw light on our current conditions and thinking, but in previous centuries, the tokens or unofficial coinage records a vivid picture of contemporary life.
Tokens came into existence as early as the 17th century as a result of the neglect of the authorities to provide sufficient small change for the people's needs. There was mounting discontent from the towns guilds and private traders resulting in their issuing of tokens, mainly of farthing denominations, as a means of currency. By the late 18th century the impetus of the Industrial Revolution with its ever expanding economy brought even greater need for small change.
The tokens issued then - the first in 1787 by Thomas Williams of the Parys Mines Co., in large quantities, utilising his own copper - have a wide range of interest. They depict the increasing changes that were taking place in the social and industrial life of the times. From all over the country tokens issued by towns, manufacturers, shopkeepers and individuals reflected the pride in their local activities. On them are shown the history, architectural and topographical features, former ways of life and new wonders of the industrial age. Many fine designers and engravers such as Wyon, Hancock, James Wright and Beswick contributed their skill to illustrate a fascinating contemporary record often not to be found elsewhere.
Unfortunately, Sussex being out of the mainstream of the industrial changes taking place has no tokens as graphic as those issued outside its borders. The com-parative few from Chichester, Battle, Frant, Rye, Winchelsea and other places depict abbeys, ships and historical events. The nearest industrial'building shown on a token is in neighbouring Kent. This is Padsole Paper Mill near Maidstone and was issued by James Smith in 1795. He was a local agent of the Sun Insurance Fire Office.
The early 19th century produced some splendid tokens indicating the progress of the new technology. The machinery in use, from pumping and winding machines to mining engines, foundries, bridges, factories and mills, were all displayed as wonders of the new age. Inventors, industrialists, reformers and political figures were widely known from their portraits on tokens and the slogans accompanying them reflect the agitations of those stormy years.
By 1817 tokens were declared unlawful tender and regal coinage began to be officially turned out by the new and re-equipped Mint of Matthew Boulton at his Soho works. Thus came to an end a splendid and vigorous era of representation of the many sided life of the people. We are left with a rich mine of recorded history worthy of much further study.
A number of Tokens from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery are shown in Figure 3 at the end of the Newsletter.


Back in October 1969, in S.I.A.S.G. Newsletter, No.4, I suggested that members might collaborate in producing a bibliography of Sussex industrial archaeology. There was a nil response - independently Hugh Gordon has produced more general booklists on I.A. To some extent I have been able to achieve my objective by other means: lists of new publications on all aspects of Sussex history and archaeology for 1970, 1971 and 1972 have appeared in the Sussex Archaeological Society News-letter, and in them industrial archaeologists may find items of interest. Even so, there may be something to be said for bringing particular articles, pamphlets and books to members attention, and I now submit a few reviews/abstracts. Other members may like to do the same.

G.D. Coleman, Hastings & St. Leonards Waterworks 1830-1970 (Hastings: County Borough of Hastings Water Committee, 1971.Pp. v+112+(14). 75p. or 80p by post, from the Water Engineer, 28, Wellington Square, Hastings.
Mr. Coleman is the Water Department's Chief Clerk and has written this substantial booklet mainly from the minutes of the Corporation and the earlier Improvement Commissioners. It is an account of Hastings' water supply, of the search for sources, of the purchase of land, of the construction of works for pumping and purification - with the search extending even further from Hastings and with the area supplied by the undertaking growing beyond the town. If to some it appears a dry catalogue of reservoirs, etc., (which would have been relieved by a map and some tables of basic statistics), it is a painstaking and fluently written distillation of the records, which is a valuable contribution both to a neglected field of local history and to a more analytical study of Hastings' growth since the early 19th century.

S.C. Newton, Rails Across the Weald, East Sussex Record Office Handbook, No.4 (Lewes: East Sussex County Council, 1972, Pp.26. 45p.) This pamphlet by the County Archivist comprises two parts. The first reviews the types of record available in the Record Office which relate to railway history. Those materials are likely only to supplement research in other repositories, and one would welcome fuller reference to what is in the British Transport Historical Records (referred to as British Rail Archives), in the House of Lords Record Office and in local libraries, particularly Brighton. The bibliography is on the thin side. The second part is a summary list of plans, deposited as part of the procedure for obtaining Acts of Parliament to authorise railway building, and now held in the Record Office. The majority of the schemes so illustrated were not realised, and include such proposals as a Brighton Underground, 1897.

Michael Robbins, 'The First Sussex Railway', The Railway Magazine, cxvii, No.843 (July 1971), 355-7. The remains of the inclined plane tramway at Offham are known to many members. This short article briefly describes them with diagrams and summarises the documentary evidence in the East Sussex Record Office relating to its planning and construction in 1807-9.

G. Hammersley, 'The charcoal iron industry and its fuel, 1540-1750', Economic History Review, 2nd series, xxvi, No.4 (November 1973), 593-613. The author questions the generally accepted argument that the serious inroads of the Wealden Iron industry into the woodlands led, from the later 16th century, to the industry spreading further afield where undisturbed woods existed (Forest of Dean, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, etc.) which too in time were 'exhausted', and a British iron industry was only saved by the discovery and exploitation of coke smelting. He argues that (i) the diffusion of the indirect process can be accounted for on grounds of profit-able exploitation of landowners' property and of more economic production (on factors other than fuel) outside the Weald; (ii) the British charcoal iron industry did not destroy its fuel and did not suffer from strikingly exceptional fuel problems, though it did encounter Swedish competition for other reasons; (iii) early experi-ments with coal and coke smelting were received coolly.

John H. Farrant, Sussex in the 18th and 19th Centuries: A Bibliography, University of Sussex Centre for Continuing Education Occasional Papers No.l (Brighton: the Centre,Pp.48. 30p., or 35p. by post from the Centre for Continuing Education, Educational Development Building, The University, Brighton, BN1 9RG) This booklet includes notes on the libraries and record offices in the county which hold manu-script or printed material on the history of Sussex, notes on particular classes of record and selected references to published material under a number of heads including, for industrial archaeologists, Urban Development, Transport and its Traffic, and Trades and Industry. The total number of bibliographical references is some 250.


As editor of Sussex Industrial History and also as author of a number of the entries in the 'Field Guide' which appeared as No.4 (summer 1972) of the journal, I have collected together several corrections. I am sure that there are other points in': it which deserve amendment, both because we were wrong at the time or because of subsequent changes (e.g. demolition), and perhaps members could notify these to me, so that they can appear in subsequent Newsletters and also noted for any second edition of the 'Field Guide!. The corrections for Littlehampton I owe to the kindness and encyclopaedic knowledge of H.J.F. Thompson. The numbers in the left margin refer to the entries in the guide.
11 correct N.G.R. to TQ 412247.
75 Littlehampton, River Road. The inscriptions on the stones read 'T. ISEMONGER/ 1830' and 'W. OCKENDEN/1843'. The former Custom House of 1864-5 had its windows smallened and had a storey, added, along with an extension to the north in 1972.
Climping Shipyard was laid out in 1837.
Between 47 and 48 Pier Road was the gas works, i.e. the buildings are unnumbered.
76 Kingston, Railway Wharf. Cross-Channel steamers regularly berthed here in 1822-4, 1830-48, 1850-1 and 1857-9.
83 Worthing Pier was built in 1862 to the design of Sir R. Rawlinson. All but the southern end was destroyed by a storm in 1913. It was rebuilt and purchased by Worthing Corporation in 1921, and the pavilion and hall were added in 1926.
page 21 The captions on the bottom two photographs should be transposed.
161 Littlehampton, East Street. The main building of George Constable's brewery is dated 1871, the facade of the earlier brewery c.1816, stands in the High Street.
170 This kiln is part of the same complex as No.161.

'Further Reading' A third edition of P.A.L. Vine, London's Lost Route to the Sea ;was published in 1973.

For R.W. Kinder, read R.W. Kidner.


Figure I. Horse-gin in the garden of a private house near Guestling.
Figure 2. Portable horse gin on a farm near Ringmer.
Figure 3. Industrial Trade Tokens.

1. Iron Furnaces at Priestfield near Bilston, Staffs.
2. Glass works at Dundee.
3. Lead works at Hull, 1812.
4. Iron works at Weybridge, Surrey, 1812.
5. Padsole paper mills near Maidstone, Kent, 1795.
6. Copper smelting works at Risca near Newport, Monmouth. 

Figure 4. Millstead 99, from the Saxon Place, 'Rescue' dig.

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