Frank W. Gregory Collection

Sketches of Sussex watermills

February 05th 2010 by Ron Cookson

These gems are a set of 61 skilfully executed pen-and-ink sketches of watermills in Sussex which Frank produced in 1936 when the cost of photographic materials forced him to resort to less expensive means of recording mills. To see them all, click here. A gallery of selected images appears below.

These important and valuable sketch drawings show details of several mills that are no longer in existence. Many of them were reproduced, in black-and-white form, in a small book published shortly before Frank's death in 1998. Some of the illustrations were dashed off more quickly than others which display a great deal of skill in their execution, and an eye for detail. High-resolution scans of the original pen-and-ink sketches have been created as part of the FGOL project, allowing the illustrations to be appreciated in their intended form.

Knight's Mill, BolneyKnight's Mill, Bolney

Knight's Mill at Bolney was demolished in 1964 although the penstock remains. Shown here in 1936, it was a small mill with an external overshot waterwheel dating from 1861 and manufactured by S. Medhurst & Son of Lewes.

Barcombe MillsBarcombe Mills

A large mill on the River Ouse, its waterwheels replaced with turbines when sketched by Frank Gregory. The mill was used to make buttons from vegetable ivory until it burned down in 1939.

Bugsell Mill, Hurst GreenBugsell Mill, Hurst Green

A small corn mill on the River Rother with two overshot wheels, one iron external one with a wooden shaft, and one internal one. The building had a timber-framed superstructure and a gabled roof. It was derelict c1950 and has since been demolished.

Moat Mill, MayfieldMoat Mill, Mayfield

This evocative view from 1936 shows the partly-weatherboarded mill derelict, its external overshot waterwheel clearly visible. The cast-iron waterwheel and shaft were manufactured by Neve Bros. of Heathfield. The mill is now a house conversion.

Hazelwick Mill, Three BridgesHazelwick Mill, Three Bridges

Hazelwick Mill near Crawley had two overshot waterwheels. The timber building, on a brick base, had a lucam covered with clay tiles. It was complete although disused in 1936 and was later demolished. The site has been completely altered by the building of Crawley New Town.

Sussex watermills bookSussex watermills book

Only a fraction of Frank's knowledge of mills appeared in published form. This small book contains reproductions of many of his Sussex watermill sketches, accompanied by informative captions.

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