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Facebook and the history of Windmills in and around Rottingdean and Balsdean.


Date published: January 6, 2021

In updating the history of the Rottingdean Cricket Club (RCC) for our new heritage pages we thought it would be a good idea to get some publicity for this new initiative amongst Facebook users. Once we had posted the information we had a very interesting reply from Justin Brice.

“Sorry but you seem to have your wires crossed regarding the windmill and Balsdean.

Your article says “The Rottingdean windmill was also situated at Balsdean in those days but it was transferred to its present site on Windmill Down, above the village, in 1802″.

Afraid this isn’t correct. Rottingdean had two windmills, an early post mill and the smock mill which still stands today. The post mill which dated back to the early 1600s stood at the top of the road formerly known as “Dudeney’s Hill”, (now Bazehill Road), on the south eastern side. She worked there until March 1818 when she was advertised for removal by a Mr Goble. It’s believed the mill’s destination was Danehill as in December 1818 Mr Goble then advertised a newly erected mill for sale. Sadly this mill only survived at the new site until October 1819 when she was burnt down. A replacement was built but she too burnt down in November 1830. It’s speculated that the fire(s) may not have been purely accidental as contemporary newspaper reports gave accounts of unrest amongst the labouring classes and many cases of property set alight. As for the Smock Mill she was built for Thomas Beacon on Beacon Hill in 1802 and worked until c1889. After which she fell into disrepair and at one point it was even decided to pull her down, however she was saved – mainly thanks to Rev. Lewis Verey the local vicar, who was instrumental in raising enough money to safeguard her.”

This is precisely why we thought in expanding our scope, our website and social media content to include more heritage stories, articles and references that we would engage with more like minded people and make the whole experience more interesting for our members and supporters.

We happily stand corrected (or rather the RCC Website does) and the inaccurate text regarding the moving of the windmill from Balsdean to Beacon Hill was updated on our account of the history of RCC.

As an aside: permission was requested and granted by RCC to use their information on our page.

If you haven’t done so already then please follow us on social media so that you too can be part of this story and all future ones too!