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Beddingham Steam Mill: 1866-2017
Plan of the Beddingham Steam Mill
Plan of the Beddingham Steam Mill
George Stevenson stands with the steam bakery’s delivery van, c1895, outside the old forge at Glynde.
George Stevenson stands with the steam bakery’s delivery van, c1895, outside the old forge at Glynde.
1866Glynde Estate?
1866William Medhurst1880
1880William Medhurst1895
1895Cooper & Aylwin1899
1901James Howard1909
1915Matthews & Downs1915
1924Andrew Andrews1924
1969Spiral Staircases?

The windmill built by Edward Elphick on the Middle Down to the south of Glynde station was demolished in 1867. The Glynde Estate had already leased land and buildings for 21 years to the miller, William Medhurst, for use as a steam flour mill in 1866. Medhurst lived at Mill House in Beddingham and continued to work the steam mill and in 1871 was employing 4 men.

Even in the early years things did not always run smoothly for the business as this newspaper report suggests, although this was nothing to do with the Steam Mill itself.

By 1881 Medhurst had moved on to become the Gage estates tenant of Ranscombe Farm while his sons. William the younger, aged 25, and Frank, 22, were living at Mill House and were both described as millers with William now employing 6 men.

William the younger continued as the miller in 1891 but in 1896 the estate signed a 21 year lease for a ‘piece of land now fenced off with the steam flour mill, bakehouse, stable and other buildings erected thereon’ with George William Cooper and Frederick Ben Aylwin, both of Glynde, millers and bakers, at £65 a year to be paid quarterly. They had already paid their first quarterly payment in 4 Jun 1895. The lease contained a schedule of all the fixtures and fittings. The same year Cooper and Aylwin also leased the Mill Brooks in Beddingham, less one acre left for a new wharf, at £10 10 shillings a year. Cooper and Aylwin converted the mill to a roller mill and a report of the mills workings appeared in the Sussex Express in 1896.

The lease for the mill allowed either party to cancel the agreement after 7 or 14 years but after just 3 years on 8 June 1899 Cooper, still of Glynde, miller and Baker, and Aylwin, now of Froxfield near Petersfield in Hampshire, surrendered the premises to Thomas Seymour Brand, owner of the estate. James Philip Howard, living at 7 Hampden Gardens was shown as the miller and baker on the 1901 census and was still there in 1909.

Owners of the mill were presumably finding it difficult to make it pay as by 1915 Matthews and Downs were listed as corn merchants at Glynde Mills and by 1927 no one was listed at the mills but Andrew George Andrews was still a baker on the premises. The mill became a grain store until the 1960s when it became disused until the estate leased it in 1969 to Lewes Design Contracts, trading as Spiral Staircase Systems. Extensive alterations and additions were made to the building and Spiral Staircases Systems still use the building in 2016.

Beddingham Steam Mill: Now


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