SIASG 4

 

SUSSEX INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY STUDY GROUP

No. 4 October 1969

THE SURVEYS
Earlier this year the Group's Committee agreed to establish a separate body to deal specifically with field-investigation and research. At its inaugural meeting on July 13th last, the newly-formed Research Committee decided to concentrate its main effort on the tollhouse and milestone survey, being of extreme urgency because of road improvements throughout the county.

The Tollhouse and Milestone Survey
Increasing geographical mobility in society, coupled with developments in domestic trade and commerce in the 17th and 18th centuries, put pressures on a parish-based road system which was both haphazardly organised and poorly maintained. Parliament's solution was to empower responsible local bodies with authority to stop-up highways by gates where a toll for passage could be demanded. That every user should pay in proportion to usage was a new principle in highway maintenance. By a statute of 1663 the first road to be regulated in this way was established between Wadesmill, Hertfordshire, and Stilton, Huntingdonshire. This was because barley wagons on their way to the maltings were making the road almost impassable. The first measure to affect Sussex was the Reigate and Crawley Turnpike Act, 1697. Every horse was charged a penny, every stage coach, hackney coach, carriage, wagon or cart, sixpence, every score of sheep a penny, every score of calves or hogs twopence, and every score of cattle sixpence. (1.)

Subsequently, during the first seventy years of the 18th century, a basic grid of trunk roads was established between the main centres of population in the county. Mr. Margary has noted some patterns in this development: the first were to the assize towns from the London direction; a series between 1753 and 1764 led to, or near, the coastal towns, and between 1765 and 1767 the formation of several trusts between Maresfield, Hurst Green and Tunbridge Wells, probably indicates the latter town as a developing district centre. The emergence of Brighton as a watering-town, and its need for more direct access, is shown by the formation of turnpike trusts in 1770. Before this date the nearest turnpike terminii to Brighton were at Steyning and Lewes. During the following seventy years cross-routes of more local importance were established. At the end of the turnpike era in Sussex the area inland from Hastings was gated. The last turnpike road in the county to be established was between Cripps Corner and Hawkhurst, 1841.

What is interesting from the archaeological point of view is that these several roads between St. Leonards and Hastings and the Kent border show turnpike road construction at its most highly developed and ambitious in the county - deep cuttings and high embankments with brick-arched over bridges taking minor roads over the main routes. (2). There is a necessity for this survey to locate and record these features. This is vital.

By the middle years of the 19th century maladministration and bankruptcy were all too apparent in the organisation of the trusts. Most of the trusts were far from viable, part of the problem being that the average length of road controlled by each was too short. In 1840 the national average for each trust was only 19 miles. (3). Increasingly there was competition from the railways, and also heavier vehicles using the roads. Unable to cope with new economic factors, most trusts were wound up in the 1860's and 70's. The last public road to continue under turnpike administration in Sussex was between Horsham, Steyning and Old Shoreham. The last tolls were taken on November 1st 1885.

The most tangible evidence of the turnpike age is in the tollhouses. Although occasionally some were earlier-built cottages utilised for the purpose, as at Lindfield, it would appear from the evidence we have at present that most in Sussex were purpose- built. Their general character is one of extreme modesty. Perhaps the smallest in the county is at Glynde (TQ 462082), built 0819, and now a shop. Probably the most elegantly designed is at Northchapel (SU 957293), a fine example, dated c 1757. Certainly the most eccentric is on the Long Furlong, near Findon, with its castellated sham facade, 0802 (TQ 101075).

The survey requires a full photographic record, and where occupiers will permit, drawings to illustrate internal layout and overall dimensions. It is particularly important for recorders to attempt to determine the original plan for each specimen as nearly all that have so far been examined reveal evidence of later additions.

The survey must not neglect milestones. At first these were erected voluntarily by the trusts, and by the General Turnpike Act. 1766, were compulsory. It is tragic that so many Sussex milestones were lost, or destroyed, during the last war prior to 1940 after they had been removed for security reasons. This was apparently the case, for instance, on the London-Brighton road, at least along the Sussex section, for a few examples appear to survive immediately north of County Oak, Crawley, within Surrey. The finest milestones in the county are those on the London-Uckfield-Hailsham road (A 22) and the Uckfield-Lewes road (A 26). See Newsletter 2, p.4. However, there are many others of far less distinction, but probably of more typical variety, and which are becoming increasingly illegible and grass-grown. If their preservation in situ cannot be guaranteed, it is essential that representative specimens be removed to safe custody. Members are asked to note where possible dangers exist, and in such cases to contact the General Secretary.

The survey co-ordinator, Mr. B. Austen, reports steady progress since last October. Completed record cards have been received for tollhouses at Ashcombe, Lower Stoneham, Malling and Offham. Work is at present in progress, or cards in process of being completed, for Ditchling, Midhurst and Stone Cross. Milestones: Bow Bell stones between 41 (Maresfield) and 35 (Wych Cross) inclusive. Three stones on the Chichester-London road (52, 50, and 45 miles to London).

The list of tollhouses issued last year produced the desired response, enabling the location of a number of additional tollhouse sites. It is hoped to issue a further list shortly. The following members have been particularly active in this survey, and their help is acknowledged: Miss M.A. Ash, Messrs M. G. Bell, G. D. Flood, H. A. Gordon, P. S. Laurie, J. A. Mudge, and J. C. Powicke.

References:
1. S. & B. Webb, The Story of the King's Highway, (1963), p.150.
2. Ivan D. Margary, `The Development of Turnpike Roads in Sussex', Sussex Notes and Queries vol. 13 (1950), pp. 49 - 53.
3. Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring into the State of the Roads in England & Wales, 1840.

Select Bibliography
See Newsletter 1, p.3, 2, p.4. Add:
Arthur Cossons, `Misconceptions about Turnpikes', The Amateur Historian, vol. 5 (1962), pp. 39 - 43. 
Gwyneth Pennethorne, `Payment on the Road', The Amateur Historian, vol. 1 (1953), pp. 102 - 106. 
Mark Searle, Turnpikes and Toll Bars, (n.d.), (Hutchinson.)

Power Survey
A. Natural Power - Horse gin, Burwash Farm (site of) - TQ 635248. Robertsbridge and District Archaeological Society located this gin lying on its side in a hedgerow. Its usage is at present unknown. It is a fine example, in good condition, of a two-horse-powered gin of the type manufactured in the last quarter of the 19th century.

Burwash. Park Mill, Batemans, TQ 670237. It was reported in Newsletter 3 that plans were being made to restore this watermill, which in its present form probably dates from 1795, and possibly also to restore the early 20th century turbine installed by Kipling to generate his own electricity. Mr. W. R. Beswick reports satisfactory negotiations with the National Trust. The Group has offered to act as managing agents for the restoration, which is urgent if the continuing deterioration is to be prevented.

Clymping Windmill, TQ 016013. The story of this mill is a tragedy, and illustrates the ease by which a historic building, listed by M.H.L.G. as Grade II (`of special architectural or historic interest') can be damaged by incorrect action. Despite its special status, and the obligations thereby placed on the proprietor to inform the planning authority before alteration, both sweeps and cap were removed without reference to West Sussex County Council. This July an application for its demolition was made so that the occupied land might revert to agricultural use. The Group lodged a formal objection against this pro-posal. Permission to demolish was refused.

What is important about this case is that it is certain that much of the power and force of any argument for preservation had been eroded by the action already taken seven years ago to partly dis-member the mill. In view of the state in which the owners have permitted the mill to develop, it would not have been surprising had the application to demolish been successful. It is quite clear that today's present position should never have been reached.

Dating from 1799, the mill is an early example of a smock mill, and was noteworthy, according to Mr. Gregory, for its cast iron windshaft with sockets to take the arm of a compass arm brakewheel. Windmills on the immediate coastline of Sussex were once a most characteristic feature. To quote just a few: there were several at Worthing, one at Rustington, two at Littlehampton, and three at Bognor. They have all been destroyed, sometimes quite wantonly as was the case when the last survivor of these was pulled down at Littlehampton to make way for a funfair. There are now but two of these coastline windmills, one at Selsey and this example at Clymping. That we should be in danger of losing one of these is serious to all who are sensitive to the slow, but insidious destruction of what is historically valuable.


CLYMPING WINDMILL 1940


CLYMPING WINDMILL 1969

Cross-in-Hand Windmill, TQ 558218. This is one of the best known Sussex windmills, often to be seen working until recently. However, earlier this year one of the stocks snapped, with the result that two of the sweeps have fallen and the other stock has cracked from the strain. There has naturally been some concern within the county as damage such as this is often the beginning of a gradual decay that in the end justifies demolition. In view of the general interest in the mill, it is well to record the following, based on a report from Mr. Beswick:

Although not used commercially since the milling business was modernised with electricity, the mill has been used regularly to maintain it in working condition. The owner Mr. Jack Newnham, (one of our members) has always shown considerable interest in maintaining a mill on the site, a site for which there is evidence of milling dating from at least 1598. The mill will not be left in its damaged state. At the time of writing this report (end of September) Mr. Newnham has said that as soon as the milling business will allow, both stocks, and the remaining sweeps, will be removed to determine exactly what is to be done.

B. Fuel Power - Goldstone Pumping Station, Hove, TQ 285066. The station houses two beam
engines each of 250 I.H.P., dated 1866 and 1876, by Easton and Anderson. They are recorded as the last two beam engines to survive in Sussex. The building itself is probably the most impressive Victorian industrial building still remaining in the county.

It is sad to report that both the building and the two engines are to be demolished and scrapped under Brighton Corporation's Capital Works Programme for 1970/71.

Railway Architecture Survey
Mr. John Hoare reports that as a result of survey work it is now possible to determine some definite patterns in local railway architecture. For example, station building before 1880 in Sussex is generally functional in terms of its period; this is particularly noticeable in comparison with the lavish provision of canopies and other passenger amenities (e.g. buffets) in the late Victorian spending spree of the LBSCR. Among the earlier buildings is the most memorable series in the county, the work by William Tress for the SER. The lines between Tunbridge Wells, Ashford and Hastings were opened by degrees during 1851 and 1852, and most of the original stations survive, although Hastings disappeared in the electrification rebuild. Current redecoration from Warrior Square, St. Leonards, northwards is being carried out sympathetically and is removing some of the later accretions which detract from the architecture. Battle is the best known. With a superb booking-hall complete with baronial fireplace, ecclesiastical windows and Gothic doors, it is well worth a visit. Also in stone are Etchingham, in Tudor style, and Frant. At Robertsbridge there is a small awning, not requiring platform supports, which is integral to the building, and this may well be the oldest specimen in Sussex of the weather protection so extravagantly provided in later years; no later canopy mars this building in the way that the Gothic arches from the hall to the platform at Battle are obscured.

Recording has been very successful in East Sussex; the following lines have been covered: Tunbridge Wells - Hastings; Hastings - Rye; Bexhill West Branch; Cuckoo Line; Lewes - Seaford; Tunbridge Wells - Three Bridges; Tunbridge Wells - Lewes; Kemp Town Branch. Work is progressing in West Sussex, but Mr. Hoare would like to hear from anyone willing to record the west coast line from Brighton to Havant.

Crowhurst Viaduct, TQ 7610. A further Sussex loss this year has been this viaduct built by the South-Eastern and Chatham Railway between 1897 - 1902, carrying the Crowhurst-Bexhill West line over Crowhurst Marsh. It was left isolated when the line was closed in 1964, and the track removed. Eight of the seventeen arches were blown up on May 23rd, the remaining structure being demolished on June 12th, reports Mr. John Upton of Battle. The viaduct was a noteworthy structure of some interest, particularly on account of its massive foundations. Each pier was built on a concrete block 52 by 32 feet, sunk to an average depth of 30 feet. That the railway company was prepared to invest 244,000 at the turn of the century on a 4'h mile branch line involving such engineering difficulties is a reflection of the anxiety to make capital out of Bexhill's fairly late development as a watering place, and reveals the price to be paid for fierce competition between rival companies. The LBSCR's route from London to Bexhill Central via Lewes was 72 miles - via the SECR's branch line this was reduced to 62 miles.

Malthouses
The malting industry in Sussex was concentrated more in the larger towns, most of these having several malthouses. However, town malthouses are highly susceptible to demolition, and only two remain in Brighton today; the last Lewes malthouse went quite recently. There are a considerable number of smaller country malthouses in the county, though many have been converted into homes or village halls, and are of limited interest.

Mr. Adrian Barritt has recorded the following: Amberley, Angmering, Brighton (2), Chidham, Cooksbridge, Findon, Hartfield, Horsham (2), Hove, Kingston-by-Sea, Portslade, Pulborough, Storrington (2), Streat and Walberton. Members with local knowledge of a particular locality are urged to report malthouses known to them. A problem is that the usual sources of information -- local directories and maps - are of less use in locating malthouses, since directories frequently give no precise addresses, and maps do not mark all sites.

Kilns
Mr. A. W. Rule is at present working through the county's 6" maps, listing all brickfield sites.
He hopes, with the help of members, to be able to visit and record when the listing is complete. It is also hoped to collect representative brick samples from each site.

Shoreham Harbour
Mr. John Mudge reports that two members have undertaken the study of the power station area,
and the area of the railway wharf and lock gates. More members are required if this survey is to succeed.

Brighton and Hove
This survey is urgent, but up to now no member has offered to organise and co-ordinate any work. It is most distressing to see so much re-development and to consider that no systematic survey has yet been commenced.

Ice House Survey
Petworth House, SU 976219. This ice house, beneath the Estate fire station, is probably the freest and most complex that the survey will be recording in the county. Heart-shaped in section, approximately 40 feet across, it is divided into three chambers each about 30 feet deep. Recording is being conducted by Chelsea Spelaeological Society. We are in active communication with this Society, and are grateful for their tackling a difficult task of recording. The Society is preparing a book on the underground in Sussex, and members are urged to assist by informing Mr. Neil Young, Mount Pleasant, Jarvis Brook, Crowborough, of tunnels and other underground features for this study.

Arundel Castle, TQ015075. Following the recording of the Cowdray ice house, Midhurst, members of the Chichester High School for Boys Industrial Archaeological Group have commenced cleaning the Castle ice house prior to preparing plans and section under Mr. John Powicke.

East Preston Workhouse Survey, TQ 070023. Demolition of the Workhouse, dated 1873, began in early September. Plans and much documentation are at the West Sussex Record Office, Chichester. Before demolition Messrs. David Butler, John Hoare and the West Sussex Secretary prepared an extensive photo-graphic record.

Recording of workhouses in Sussex is a neglected aspect of local history field work. For instance, the Thakeham Union Workhouse was pulled down in the 1950's, and far-reaching enquiries have so far failed to locate any photographs. Members are asked to locate the poor law institutions in their own
districts, and to notify one of the above if demolition is imminent. The following book locates all such institutions in the county, and should be found in the major Sussex reference libraries:
Jane M. Coleman, Sussex Poor Law Records, (1960).

THE OPEN AIR MUSEUM, WEST DEAN NEAR CHICHESTER
Work is now nearing completion on Winkhurst Farmhouse, dated c1400. This is the first building to be re-erected. A start has recently been made on the re-erection of a timber-framed and thatched early 18th century granary from Littlehampton. Last July a traditional type of charcoal kiln was erected under the supervision of a former charcoal burner. Adjacent has been built a burner's turf hut, complete with a faggot bed. The Museum would like to know more about this industry, facts about its organisation and methods of working. There are still living many elderly craftsmen with colourful memories of practices which have died out this century, probably never to be revived or seen again, except under exhibition circumstances. Members could usefully locate such craftsmen and record their memories.

A horse gin house from Bersted, Bognor, was removed in August to West Dean, for later re-erection.

Volunteer labour, for both site maintenance and removal of buildings, is urgently required. Members should contact Mrs. Pamela West, 11 Selsey Avenue, Bognor Regis, if they are able to help. A booklet outlining progress to date may also be purchased from Mrs. West, price 2/6. The Museum is not yet open to the general public.

THE SUSSEX GUNPOWDER INDUSTRY
The visit arranged by the Group to the Chart gunpowder mills at Faversham in Kent on September 13th calls attention to similar industrial activity in Sussex and to the archaeological material which remains to be seen.

Battle and District. There were six gunpowder works along the course of the short Asten stream which ran from its source near Catsfield to the sea at St. Leonards. These were: the Farthing Works, the House Works (the main establishment), Pepperengeye, Lower Pepperengeye, and two mills at Crowhurst. Pepperengeye was the first to operate in 1677. Much later a further associated works at Sedlescombe was added to the complex. As at the Brede Works, there were major and minor explosions, so that the land-owner of 1874 would not renew the lease. The whole operation moved to Dartford on the Thames.

Archaeological remains are few, being confined to ponds, water channels, some buildings now converted to other uses - particularly at Powdermill House - and an occasional grinding stone, which at some two tons each were too heavy to move far away.

Members interested in following in detail this highly important local industry are referred to the very important paper by Herbert Blackman, Sussex Archaeological Collections, vol. 64 (1923), pp. 109 - 122. Also to the original MS and notes of the same author held by the Battle Historical Society, by whom they were kindly made available for these present notes, together with a report of a lecture on this subject by Col. C. H. Lemmon in its Transactions no. 8, (1958 -- 59), pp. 5 - 8. The O.S. map of 1874 should be consulted for locations.

Brede. When the Brede (Sackville) iron works, including a blast furnace and gun foundry went out of action in 1763, the site was leased to Messrs. Durrent and Jeakens for 31 years. A gunpowder works was in operation by 1770. Capital about 4,000.

Black dogwood and spindlewood were extensively cultivated to provide charcoal for the best sporting powder. Such trees today provide perhaps the most readily seen evidence of this industrial venture (as incidentally do the many teazel plants of the woollen industry that also flourished for a time at Brede). There are today only two items of the works to be seen; one a grinding stone from the edge-runner mill, used to fine grind the mixture of saltpetre, sulphur and charcoal. It has been set up vertically at the east end of the dam of the Hastings Corporation Waterworks reservoir at Powdermill (between Sedlescombe and Brede), where also the very few remains of the Sackville iron furnace can be seen. The second item remaining is a timber framed and boarded building removed in toto to a site next to Brede Garage, and now used as a dwelling house.

The mill blew up three times, in 1778, 1787, and in 1808. On the last occasion the whole mill, as well as two men and a child were blown to pieces. The running house, the sifting house and the mag-azine were rebuilt, and Jeakens continued working alone until the operation ceased in 1825.
W. R. Beswick.
For further information on the Brede Works see Edmund Austen, Brede, (1946). pp. 92 - 94. 
Other gunpowder works in Sussex were at Maresfield (see Newsletter 3, p. 5).

A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SUSSEX INDUSTRIAL HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY
The amateur in any field invariably finds it difficult to keep up to date with the literature in his chosen subject: he has not the time to hunt through the printed material which appears at an ever increas-ing rate. The problem is particularly acute for the industrial archaeologist: his subject matter spans so many fields, and much that is not directly historical - for example, an account of a process or craft still employed - is relevant.

One thing which a publication like this Newsletter should attempt to do is keep its readers abreast with other publications. What I invite other members of the Group to do is to note recent articles and books which make considerable reference to Sussex industries and crafts, and to send the details to me, with per-haps an explanatory sentence about the article-, e.g.,
D. W. Crossley, Excavations at Panningridge Furnace, Sussex, 1968. Bulletin of the Historical Metallurgy Group, vol. 3 (1969), p.24. An interim report on excavation of a Wealden furnace of the 16th century.

These references can then be collated and published in the Newsletter.

What will be particularly valuable is for members who take periodicals of limited circulation, (e.g. Journal of the Railway and Canal Historical Society, Business History, `house journals') to make a special point of recording Sussex references.
John Farrant,
27 Bloomsbury Place, Brighton.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
E. M. Venables & A. F. Outen, Building Stones of Old Bognor, Published 1969 by the Bognor Regis Natural Science Society, 1 Coastguard Cottages, Aldwick, Bognor Regis, price 6/-. Context is provided by a geological and historical sketch of Bognor, which is then examined in terms of building materials found and used locally: flint, chalk, Bognor Rock, Barn Rock, septarium, and brickearth. There is a useful analysis of the forms of flintwork to be seen in Bognor, and references to former industrial activity - lime burning, cement making by windmill, and local brickfields.

This publication is a useful model for work requiring to be done in many other Sussex towns. Re-development and demolition taking place, especially in the coastal towns, is making a survey of the usage of local building materials most urgent. For instance, Littlehampton and Worthing both require such a study. It is also heartening to see a local town society doing something useful in this respect. Other such societies in Sussex might well imitate. (K. C. L.)

SUSSEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
The Group has been accepted as an affiliated member of the Society. It is also recorded, with thanks, that the Society has generously accorded a grant to pay for a publicity leaflet for the Group.

STOP PRESS - "THE FUTURE OF INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY"
These notes are more in the nature of personal reflections than a formal record of the conference organised by the Council for British Archaeology and held on 11 October 1969 in London. Under the
title, `The Future of Industrial Archaeology', it was attended by about 90 people, mostly representing interested societies and museums. Kim Leslie and myself attended as members of SIASG, Peter White behalf of the Ancient Monuments Inspectorate.
on
The morning session was devoted to short talks - without questions and discussions - by:-
Prof W. F. Grimes (Chairman, C.B.A. Industrial Archaeology Research Committee) on `The
Ten Years';
Mr. A. J. Taylor (Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments) on `Government Policy towards Industrial Relics';
Dr. J. Butt (Editor) on `The Future of the Journal of Industrial Archaeology';
Mr. L. T. C. Rolt (Chairman, Bath Conference Steering Committee on Industrial Archaeology) on `The Next Ten Years'.

Professor Grimes outlined how the C.B.A. had provided mechanisms for recommending to Govern-ment departments the listing or scheduling of monuments (through the Advisory Panel) and for the recording of monuments (through the Research Committee and the National Survey of Industrial Monuments). Mr. Taylor amplified on the procedures and policies for preservation, while Mr. Rolt speculated on ways in which the pressure on the C.B.A. secretariat, the Research Committee and the Advisory Panel might be alleviated. The meeting had before it a report from the Steering Committee set up at the Bath Conference in November 1968, drawn up after three meetings and a discussion with representatives of the C.B.A. The report favoured the strengthening of existing procedures, rather than the establishment of a `Council for British Industrial Archaeology', but Rolt also suggested a middle position, whereby an independent secretariat (perhaps associated with the Newcomen Society) serviced the committees, but their recommendations were put to the Government through C.B.A. Dr. Butt said that the bulk of the correspondence which he received as Editor of the J.I.A. contributed nothing to the Journal, and convinced him of the need for a national society, with individual membership, rather than a federal structure, which not only fulfilled the functions of the C.B.A. and produced the Journal, but also provided the services of a learned society.

An open discussion occupied the entire afternoon session. After considerable debate, the meet-ing accepted the alternative proposed by the Steering Committee, namely the strengthening of the C.B.A. institutions, and in particular recommended the reconstitution of the Research Committee on the basis of territorial representation, the reorganisation of the Advisory Panel procedure to deal more promptly with recommendations for scheduling and listing, and the exertion of pressure on the appropriate bodies to increase the grants available for this work. Subsequently, a proposal that steps should be taken to establish a national society was put, but necessarily in the context of the preceding decisions, it was defeated, 41 votes to 27, with 21 abstentions.

It was regrettable that a conference on the future of industrial archaeology should have concentrated on the issue of `preservation'. Industrial archaeology is the study of certain categories of artefacts and activities - and not merely their conservation, (archaeologists of other periods do accept the destruction of what they find once it has been recorded). Discussion on the next ten years should be about the study of what, and how.
John Farrant.

 

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