SIASG 3

 

SUSSEX INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY GROUP

No. 3 April 1969


THE SURVEYS (The names of the survey co-ordinators follow each report.)
Natural Power
Horse-power: This aspect of the power survey is urgent as, unlike water and windmills, stationary horse engines (gins) have been comparitively neglected. Since Newsletter No. 1, listing five gins used for raising water, there has been only one addition, although this story is unfortunate; just over a month ago a horse-operated butter churn was reported, complete with mechanism, at Valelands Farm, Marle Green, Horam. Following the Farm's recent sale, the machinery was removed without trace. No record exists.

On the other hand there has been success in locating the purpose-built round houses in which gins were sometimes accommodated. Having a re-use value for storage etc., they generally outlive the machinery they once housed. The horse gin houses so far located are as follows:

Arundel, Oil Cake Mill, Ford Road, (TQ012066). Linseed crushing. 
Barcombe, Courtlodge Farm, (TQ419143). Farm gear.
Bireted, Marsh Farm, (SU989049). Farm gear. Photograph, page 8. 
North Bersted, Chalcroft Farm, (SU919005). Farm gear.
Redford, former brickyard, (SU862262. ? clay grinding, i.e. a pug mill.)
Storrington, tannery site, (TQ089142). ? a bark mill.

The buildings at Binsted and North Bersted are to be dismantled and taken to the Open Air Museum, West Dean.

Water Power: Brightling Estate Brick and Tile Works, (TQ687223). Here was the only recorded instance in Sussex of a pug mill being operated by water. A detailed survey of the works was made early this year by the Robertsbridge and District Archaeological Society under Mr. David Martin. Mr. Martin's report states that the wheel house of the pug mill survives, although now a roofless ruin. The drive shaft
bases, cog pit and wheel pit are still visible. The works closed at the outbreak of the last war, and the overshot iron wheel sold for scrap.

Burwash, Park Mill, Batemans, (TQ670237). Plans are being made to restore this mill, which possibly
dates in its present form from 1795. Housing three pairs of stones, the wheel was removed in the early part of the century when Rudyard Kipling installed a turbine to generate his own electricity. A priority is to weatherproof the roof of the mill. The adjacent turbine - a reaction turbine - dates from 1902, and is complete, as is the electrical generator by Cromptpn. The turbine wheel casing has been broken in one part, and the drive shaft seized. Being probably the earliest electrical generating plant to survive intact in Sussex, and with such a distinguished association, its restoration should be vigorously supported.

Crowborough Warren, New Mill, (TQ494316). This former corn mill, c1800, consisted of a complex of eight buildings centred on a massive dam and a four-storey mill house. An aqueduct carried the water on to a 31 foot diameter wheel, which Mr. Gregory has reported as being the largest to be recorded in Sussex. This was a most substantial industrial enterprise, built on a grand and impressive scale. Although the mill had been deteriorating for years, no full survey had been made of the site when it was discovered last autumn that demolition of the remaining structures was taking place for its fine building stone. Mr, R. H. Wood of East Grinstead went to the site immediately and made a preliminary survey and report for the Group, as did representatives of the newly-formed Uckfield and District Preservation Society. But permission for access was soon withdrawn from the Society, with the threat of legal action. The request was for the Contractors to allow a two day survey so that at least some detailed drawings could be prepared before the foundations were reached and broken. Despite appeals to the local authority and to me contractor's solicitors, no satisfactory solution could be reached, and all requests for co-operation were consistently refused.

Haywards Heath, Bridgers Mill, (TQ330250). The weather-boarded mill building, which might date from 1856, is at present being demolished to make way for warehouses and offices. The pen-trough, cast at the Regent Foundry, Brighton, is to have its name plate preserved by Brighton Museum, and certain of the timber is being taken to Nutley Windmill for a proposed museum building. The Watermil) is one of the earliest buildings in Haywards Heath; with the still standing Corn Exchange of 1846 (the southern end of the Hayworthe Hotel), it is one of the last links with the early growth of Haywards Heath as an agricultural and marketing centre in the mid-19th century. See photograph, page 8.

Hurstpierpoint, Hammonds Mill, (TQ301176). This is a large mill, bearing a date-stone inscribed 1821. Considerable additions were made in the later 19th century, including a new wheel by Cooper of Henfield, with the date, 1870. There is evidence that the building has been used as a wire-mill as well as for corn. Its demolition is planned, and it is most satisfying to record that the owner made contact with the Group and the Open Air Museum, offering items of equipment for preservation. The East Sussex County Council has been most co-operative in this matter. 

Wind-power, Icklesham, Hogg Hill Post Mill, (TQ887161). This is one of the oldest windmills in Sussex, possible of the late 17th century. Since before the last war this has not been in sound repair. Sympathetic ownership has restored the mill, a new breast-beam has been inserted, and the sweeps restored.

Nutley Post Mill, (TQ451291). The last surviving open-trestle post mill in Sussex, it is being restored by the Uckfield and District Preservation Society. Volunteers wishing to help in this work should contact Mr, A. Turner, 224 High Street, Uckfield.
Mills open to the public (with 1969 opening dates.)
Polegate Tower Mill and Milling Museum:
2.30 -5.30 p.m. - Sundays, 4th May - 25th October / Wednesdays in August / Bank Holidays, except Easter,
Shipley Smack Mill:
2.30 - 6,00 p.m. - First weekends in May, June, July, August, October / Bank Holiday, 31st August, 1st September.
Woods Mill, Small Dole near Henfield; April 1st -
September 30th - Weekends, 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Tues/Wed/Thurs, 2.00 - 6.00 p.m. 
The history of the mill, by Mr. H. C. P. Smail, will soon be on sale.

Map of Sussex Windmills
Prepared by Mr. D. G. Jones and Mr. F. W. Gregory, this indicates surviving and incomplete specimens. 
It is obtainable from Mr. Jones at 2/-, post free, at 22 Manor Road, Hampden Park, Eastbourne.
Mr. F. W. Gregory, 292 Dyke Road, Brighton.

Fuel Power
Mr. F. L. Veale of Eastbourne has reported that the two semi-vertical steam engines by Hughes and Lancaster, dated 1892, for which we tried to find a home, have been scrapped, (page 3 Newsletter No. 2, and photograph, Newsletter No. 1, appendix page.) It is fair to comment that Eastbourne Corp-oration did initiate enquiries with a view to preservation, but there was no response.
Mr. F. G. Parker, AMInstF, College of Technology, Lewes Road, Brighton, and Mr. R. White, 4 Argyll Court, Hampden Park, Eastbourne.

Tollhouses and Milestones
Mr. B. Austen has issued a most useful set of recording notes, and a list of tollhouses based on known survivals or documentary evidence. This first list refers to 128 tollhouse/tollgate sites. This survey group has now begun to issue its own Newsletter. No. 1, issued in March, gives a list of amendments to the first list, and notes based on reports submitted, so as to give other members guidance on the filling in of CBA report cards.

In the last Newsletter, reference was made to the tollboard from Northchapel Gate, near Petworth, now in the possession of the Open Air Museum. Since then, Miss Hellawell, Curator of Chichester Museum, has helped the Open Air Museum acquire another, which was found in three pieces being used as floor boards in Chichester. This was originally from the Midhurst-Fernhurst road, and is being restored. Battle and District Historical Society Museum has also donated two toll-charge notices ton paper) to this Museum, which were possessed in duplicate. One is for the Broil Park Gate, Ringmer, to Battle Turnpike (no date), and the other is a table of reduced tolls, dated 1853, for the Hood's Corner Turnpike. These will be framed, and eventually displayed in a re-erected tollhouse of 1807 from Upper Beeding near Shoreham, which is now in store.
Mr. B. Austen, 1 Mercedes Cottages, St. John's Road, Haywards Heath.

Railway Architecture
This survey is concerned with engineering (bridges etc.), goods yards, cranes, engine sheds, and stations. Members met last December, and undertook to record particular sections of track. More offers of help for this work will be welcome, particularly on the coastal main line and its branches. An outline survey of much of the county has now been made, sufficient at least to indicate some of the structures worthy of a full report.

Items of interest: the most spectacular engineering on Sussex railways is, typically, on the earliest lines where gradients and curves are consistently easier. The ruling gradient of 1 in 264 on J.U. Rastrick's main line led to the viaducts over the Ouse Valley, near Balcombe, and London Road, Brighton, and to the dramatic terracing of Brighton Station. Early sketches show the spectacular nature of this terracing well; modern building around has reduced the visual impact not only at the Station, but at the London Road Viaduct. Probably the oddest feature on this line (perhaps on the county's whole system) is the north
portal of Clayton Tunnel, castellated with a cottage - still inhabited - behind the battlements

The Lewes-Uckfield line, in the news this year with its closure, originally' passed west of Hamsey; its realignment in 1868 (after only 10 years of use) left a short stretch disused. This might have been re-laid and reopened under recent British Rail proposals. The section, although closed for a century, is easily identifiable now, and includes two crossing-keeper's cottages, one of which appears externally to be quite unaltered.

Mr. E. J. Upton of Battle reports that the disused viaduct over Crowhurst Marsh is to be demolished this year. This impressive structure has had a comparatively short working life as the Bexhill West branch was not opened until 1902, and was closed in 1964.
The B. R. Archivist has been helpful, although he could offer no easy aids for finding historical records to answer necessary questions. Minute books, local newspapers, and miscellaneous articles in railway magazines will add to our knowledge.
Mr. J. M. Hoare, 66 Church Mead, Hassocks.

Breweries
The co-ordinator for this survey, Mr. P. White, is at present working on the site and history of the Southdown and East Grinstead Brewery at East Grinstead. Assistance in locating and recording breweries, particularly in West Sussex, would be appreciated.
Mr. P. White, Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1.

Malthouses
Until the 1820's there were some twenty maltsters working in Sussex, but this number increased rapidly to fifty-three by 1866. A slow decline then began, becoming rapid after 1895. By 1918 there were only eight, and to-day but one remains. The early increase was probably a result of the population growth, a demand for more ale and beer, and the resultant need for malt. Later, rationalisation of the whole brewing industry, which continues today, caused the decline. Mergers and take-overs put the small men out of business, and the advent of modem drum-malting techniques rendered the old-style malthouse out of date.

Six malthouses have been inspected, in Brighton, Portslade, Shoreham, Kingston-by-Sea, and Cooksbridge, and definite information is known on three others, at Billingshurst - Chidham and Pulborough, which now serve as residences. Many others have yet to be investigated. Any active help in either locating sites by examining six-inch maps, or visiting these sites for recording, would be welcome.

The malthouse at Kingston-by-Sea (just west of Shoreham Lighthouse, on the A259) is the only one still working in Sussex, and there can be few others in southern England. It has been recorded fully, with plans and photographs. Malt is made here by the traditional method, and although machinery is used for raking the barley, cleaning it and working the kilns, the process is centuries old. The malthouse will be demolished in the next two years.
Mr. A. E. Barritt, 98 Westfield Crescent, Brighton.

Kilns
The Ashburnham Brickyard, opened on its present site in 1840, burnt its last kiln of bricks in early November. This was the end of probably the most primitive of commercial industries to have survived to the second half of this century in Sussex. It was almost certainly the last brickyard in Sussex to use wood to fire the bricks. We have given very full photographic coverage to the site, Mr. W. R. Beswick has prepared an engineering drawing of the Scotch kiln, and the Redland Brick Co. has been most helpful in carrying out temperature recording and BSI tests so that the record can be as complete as possible. The Secretary has compiled its history, based on documents at Ashburnham Place, and the East Sussex Record Office, Lewes.

The Brightling Estate Brick and Tile Works. Reference has already been made to this survey, page 1. Mr. Martin reports that the majority of the surviving kiln block appears to be of late 19th century date. It is ruinous, and the drying sheds have been demolished. .
Mr. A. W. Rule, Mill House, Westbourne, Emsworth, Hants.


THE ASHBURNHAM BRICK KILNS 
The wood-fuel is in the foreground  Photo: 1967

Lime Kilns: Mrs. M. Holt is researching into these kilns in parts of West Sussex, and contributes the following article on lime pits and kilns

The use of manure, marl and chalk in order to maintain and improve the fertility of the land was already fully appreciated in medieval times, and there are many specific references to them in documents of the period.

Marl is obtained from the base of the Lower Chalk, and is a calcareous clay. The author of an 18th century book on husbandry calculated that the white marl near Duncton contained 7510 calcium carbonate, while the blue marl, which lay within the Gault Clay, contained only 8%. Marl was also found within the Weald proper, and dug locally in small, shallow pits. An entry in Slaugham Parish Registers for the year 1645 records the death of "an olde man, John Peacocke" who fell into a marl pit in the dark and was drowned.

Chalk was dug out in small pits at the foot of the Downs and transported over a wide area, up to 10 miles from the site. It was often spread over the fields in its raw condition, and allowed to weather naturally. It was found to be more beneficial, however, when burnt, and the fine resulting powder broad-cast over the soil.

The burning of lime is therefore of great antiquity, and because of the technical ability required it became almost a monopoly of certain families, who, over many generations, jealously guarded the secrets and mysteries of their craft.

By the 18th century every farm of any size had its own lime kiln, and others were sites on waste and common ground. The lime-burners travelled round the county, and the lime was used on a local, not a commercial basis. Perhaps the three large pits at Newbridge, near the Lime Burners Arms, (TQ073255), and the two near Colhook Common, (SU958272), may have been exceptions in this small area of West Sussex which I have studied. A survey of the area around Ebernoe reveals no less than 16 kilns, and of these seven are still in a fairly good state of preservation.

The average kiln consisted of a central circular chamber in the form of a cask, some 10 feet in depth. It had an inside lining of brick, of peculiar form and dimensions, and this was reinforced with stone and rubble to a width of 31 feet. The earth from the excavation was thrown back to make a mound of some 30 feet in circumference. The front was faced with brick or stone to a height of about 8 feet, and the eye, or mouth, of the kiln was 4 feet high by 21 feet wide, with two projecting wings.

The most difficult process was the 'setting' of the kiln, which first involved the building of a chalk oven on the clay floor, and then a filling of chalk was built up inside, with a slight tilt towards the back of the kiln. This was then domed, or arched with blocks of chalk, very carefully fitted without a centre. Small pieces of chalk were inserted to bind the whole together. Large blocks were then 'set' over the crown of the arch to induce the fire to flare; then small pieces, but no rubble, were used. Finally, the whole 'set', now some 7 - 8 feet high, was covered with the largest blocks. These usually remained unburnt, and were re-used for subsequent firings.

It took four loads of chalk to fill one kiln, and a man and boy could do this in a day, the cost varying with the distance from the pit. Faggots of wood or furze were always used, with the exception of a small area near the Arun where coal was available, although this lime was considered inferior, as the resultant product contained a proportion of coal dust. 1, 000 faggots were required for each burning. (It is interest-ing to note here how often the field names incorporate "Furze" in their nomenclature in the vicinity of these kilns.) It then required two men to fire the kiln which needed continuous attention, in order to re-tain the high temperature for a period of 24 hours.

This preliminary survey seems to indicate that the number of kilns within this small area was probably greater than in the Wisborough Green district, but further study will enable a more detailed and reasoned comparison to be made.
MARGARET HOLT.

Shoreham Harbour
The basic survey is now well under way. This will take time, but will not require repeating. Contact with the Harbour authorities has been made, and they have kindly put the relevant papers at our disposal. Some of these are fully covered in printed sources, but the Port Books, and the Trustee's Minute Books covering the period from 1760 onwards will need examination.

The booklets "The Port of Shoreham" (Shoreham Harbour Trustees, 2/6), and "Shoreham Harbour" and "The Town of Shoreham" (West Sussex County Council, 15/- each), should be examined for a concise current survey of the area. It is hoped to divide the whole of the area in question so that the detailed survey can begin shortly.
Mr. J. A. Mudge, 50 Lustrells Vale, Saltdean, Brighton.

Brighton and Hove
This is a most urgently needed survey in view of the speed of demolition and re-development. We are still in need of someone to take charge of this.

Ice houses
The county possesses a most interesting number of these underground structures, built before the days of mechanical refrigeration to store large blocks of ice for domestic use. Most were built to serve the large private estates. Under the direction of Mr. J. C. Powicke, sixth form students from the Chichester High School for Boys have set up their own industrial archaeology group, and for their first work have cleared of rubbish, photographed, and surveyed the ice house at Cowdray, Midhurst. The Cowdray Estate is providing the timber for Mr. Powicke to make a door, so as to prevent further misuse.

An Appeal for Information
Mr. R. Fry of Yew Lodge, Hoisted Keynes, Haywards Heath, wishes to investigate the history of the Maresfield Gunpowder Works. This was in existence in 1724, (Straker's 'Wealden Iron', 1931), and continued until about 1854 when an explosion caused the inevitable closure. When he wrote, Straker noted (page 402) that a powder grinding-stone survived. The location and recording of this, and similar ground evidence, together with documentary references, would be welcomed.

THE OPEN AIR MUSEUM, WEST DEAN NEAR CHICHESTER
Since the formation of a promotion committee by Mr. Armstrong in 1967, considerable progress has now been achieved. In early March this year the re-erection of the first building commenced with the re-building of Winkhurst Farm from near Edenbridge. This is the earliest and simplest building so far saved for preservation, and is dated c1400. Other buildings which have been saved and stored will be re-erected as the funds become available. Thus after protracted negotiations, the Museum has commenced its work. Yet another important stage will be reached in early May when the Museum's first Director takes up his appointment. He is Mr. J. E. Lowe, MA, FSA, formerly Assistant Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and at present Director of the Birmingham City Museum.

Whilst a major part of the Museum will be devoted to illustrate the development of the vernacular architecture of the Weald and Downland area, another important aspect i4 to be the display of rural crafts and industries. The Study Group is closely connected with this aspect of the Museum's work, being rep-resented on the Museum's Advisory Craft and Industries Committee.

It must be emphatically stated that the site is not yet open to the public. This is because planning consent has been given on the understanding that no general public admittance will be offered until the Museum has an adequate car park, and a new, and proper, car access point. However, there will be a private view to members of the Group on June 28th, after Mr. Armstrong's lecture in Chichester, (see Programme for 1969 for details).

PUBLICATIONS
Sussex Directories 1784 - 1940; A First List
by John Farrant
To be distributed to all members in May.

For the industrial archaeologist, local directories are an invaluable source of detailed information, whether for the history of one man's business or for a rough occupational analysis of a large district. Between 1784, when the first printed directory covering any part of Sussex appeared, and 1940, when all Sussex directories ceased publication for the duration of the war, over eight hundred directories relating to the county were published.

An attempt to list those available in libraries has resulted in this first list. Distributed free to all members, further copies may be had for 2/-, post free, from John Farrant, 27 Bloomsbury Place, Brighton, BN2 1DB.

He will be pleased to hear of additions to this list, for further publication..

Sussex Industrial History - the proposed journal of the Study Group. Editor: John Farrant.
The preservation of buildings and plant, and the accumulation of factual information on record cards, cannot be the only ways in which the Group's labours are recorded for posterity. The items preserved are essentially unique, the scope of record cards necessarily limited and the copies few. We must aim to synthesize our researches by the publication of papers which will be accessible wherever and whenever anyone wishes to study the industrial past of Sussex.

The title "Sussex Industrial History" has been chosen because it expresses a wider scope than, but does not preclude, industrial archaeology. The distinction between history and archaeology which may hold for 'pre-historic archaeology' does not apply to those periods from which documentary evidence survives in profusion: the surviving artefacts are but one source by which to examine their industrial activity. It is essential that the Journal should seek to harmonise the use of archaeological and of more conventional materials in the writing of industrial history.

Papers might adopt a variety of approaches, by:
describing, with plans, diagrams and photographs, a single building, or piece of plant of particular note, or a number of buildings of similar type or function (e.g., tollhouses, railway stations of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.);
assessing, by the application of technical expertise, the efficiency of a given machine, process or business (e.g., the wood-fired brick kilns at Ashbumham);
describing the history of a particular firm or industry, with due regard to the wider environment within which it operated (e.g., the brewing industry);
analysing, on the basis of Sussex evidence, a general issue (e.g., the mechanisation of agriculture).

Collaboration may produce the most fruitful results; few members can possess the expertise to explore all aspects of their chosen subject.

The intention is to produce the first issue of "Sussex Industrial History" in 1970. It might have 72 pages, crown quarto (10" x 71"), and sell at 10/-, but many decisions on price and size depend on a full knowledge of the papers which members would be willing to submit for publication. So if you are working on, or have completed, a piece of recording or research, which could be available in draft by the autumn of 1969, please make contact with me as soon as possible.
JOHN FARRANT.
27 Bloomsbury Place, Brighton, BN2 1DB, or School of Educational Studies, Arts Building, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BNl 9QN. Telephone, Brighton 66755.

Industrial Archaeologists' Guide 1969 - 70. Edited by Neil Cossons and Kenneth Hudson, David and Charles, 25/-. Published in March.

First Edition of the One Inch Ordnance Survey.
David and Charles reprints, 15/- each, flat or folded.
Sussex will be covered by six maps altogether, although two will cover the major area:
Sheet 87, Brighton - publication date 15th April.
Sheet 88, Hastings - 11 11 3rd June.
A prospectus for the series is available from the publishers, whose address is, Railway Station, Newton Abbot, Devon.

HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS
The recent circular sent to all members about collecting together early photographs and picture postcards has met with some success already. If original material, understandably, cannot be donated, we ask for its loan so that it can be copied. The policy is that we, acting as collecting agents, will eventually hand over the collection to a major public library in Sussex, or to our two record offices, so that the pictures will be available to the general public for both study and interest. The following items
are acknowledged;

Arundel Windmill     pre 1919 (via Mr. A. Simmons).
Battle Gunpowder Works 
series of 16 views (via Lieut-Col. C. H. Lemmon 
and Battle Historic Society).
Battle Gas Works  early 20th century (via Battle Historic Society).
Battle, Old Forge, Stevens Crouch  views of hand-malt mill (via Battle Historic Society).
Dial Post, Tollhouse  taken in 1936, since demolished. (via Secretary). 
Netherfield, Gypsum Works   1873 or 1875. (via Mr. A. V. Sheppard).
Portslade Pumping Station Mile Oak c1900. (via Mr. E. W. Holden).



Horse Gin House Marsh Farm Binsted 
(see page 1)


Bridgers Mill Haywards Heath 
(see page 1)

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