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Beddingham Windmill: 1806-1867
Edward Elphick’s windmill photographed at Blackboys, c1910.
Edward Elphick’s windmill photographed at Blackboys, c1910.
A section of the Beddingham Tithe Map, 1842, showing the windmill positioned on plot 129
A section of the Beddingham Tithe Map, 1842, showing the windmill positioned on plot 129
Owner
FromNameUntil
1806Edward Elphick1824
1824William Picket1839
1839Glynde Estate1867
Occupier
FromNameUntil
1806Edward Elphick1824
1824William Picket1839
1839Charles Colgate1855
1856John Comber1857
1858William Medhurst1867

There are records of several windmills serving Glynde and Beddingham from at least as early as 1575 and a mill had probably stood at Wick Street, above Ringmer, in 1285.

The mill built about 1806 stood just to the south of where the Trevor Arms now stands. Edward Elphick first appeared in the annual accounts of the Glynde estates in 1806 when he paid £2 2s ‘as ground rent for windmill’. Elphick paid the same amount the following year and then in 1808 he paid 4 guineas ‘as ground rent for mill and house’.

It was in this year that Elphick signed a 60 year lease for the land for the mill and the house (now Mill House) with Thomas, Lord Viscount Hampden, and his brother John Trevor. The rent was £4 4s a year and the lease stated that Edward Elphick had lately erected a messuageHouse or dwelling,
inc. outbuildings &
orchard, courtyard
or gardens
at his own expense on 20 perches of land to the east of the turnpike road from Lewes to Firle and also on the eastern side of the turnpike road Edward Elphick leased 8 perches of land on which he had erected at his own expense a windmill. At the end of the 60 year period Elphick or his heirs were entitled to carry away the messuageHouse or dwelling,
inc. outbuildings &
orchard, courtyard
or gardens
and windmill unless Thomas, Lord Viscount Hampden, and John Trevor or their heirs were willing to purchase the same at a fair valuation to be made by two impartial persons – one to be chosen by each party.

The owner of the Glynde Estates did eventually make use of his option to buy the buildings but by then both Edward Elphick and Thomas Viscount Hampden had died. The Glynde estate passed into the hands of Henry Otway Trevor and the lease for the windmill passed firstly from Edward Elphick (who died in 1824) to his wife Mary, and then from Mary to her sister Elizabeth Pickett whose husband, William, was a miller. After Edward Elphick's death two adverts were placed in the Sussex Advertiser by his widow Mary.

On 1 October 1839 Henry Otway Trevor contracted with Elizabeth Pickett and her husband William, a miller, to purchase the parcels of land ‘and the messuageHouse or dwelling,
inc. outbuildings &
orchard, courtyard
or gardens
, windmill and other buildings thereon at the price of £965 5 shillings’
. The price also included all fixtures and running tackle. However, the mill was only to last on the site for a further 28 years as the windmill, its roadway and part of the old turnpike from Glynde to Firle were all to be eroded by the expansion of Balcombe’s Pit, just south of Glynde station, so that what had been a sizeable hill that the windmill stood on was becoming a large hole in the chalk.

By 1867 the windmill was obviously considered to be an obstacle to the pits expansion and so the estate sold it. The Glynde estates steward’s day book recorded on 13 October 1867 ‘[received of] Edward Hobden for a windmill - £80’. The windmill was dismantled and moved to Blackboys in the parish of Framfield.

The Framfield census return of 1871 shows that John Hobden, aged 26, master miller, was living at Blackboys. John was the son of Edward Hobden and so it appears Edward, a farmer in Heathfield, had purchased the mill for his son. The windmill was still standing at Blackboys in 1938 when the Uckfield Rural District Council placed a protection order on it, along with windmills at Nutley and Argos Hill. The Blackboys mill had only ceased to be used the previous year but, despite the protection order, it was demolished in 1945.

The miller at Beddingham when the windmill was demolished was William Medhurst and he became the tenant of a new steam mill that was built by H B W Brand in the station yard north of Glynde station, although still in Beddingham parish.

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