Beacon Mill, Rottingdean

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Rottingdean Windmill
Rottingdean smock mill, 1802.jpg
The mill in 2010
Mill nameBeacon Mill
New Mill
Mill locationTQ 366 025
Coordinates50°48′22″N 0°03′47″W / 50.806°N 0.063°W / 50.806; -0.063Coordinates: 50°48′22″N 0°03′47″W / 50.806°N 0.063°W / 50.806; -0.063
Operator(s)Rottingdean Preservation Society
Year built1802
PurposeCorn mill
TypeSmock mill
StoreysThree-storey smock
Base storeysSingle-storey base
Smock sidesEight sides
No. of sailsFour sails
Type of sailsPatent sails
WindshaftCast iron
The great spur wheel on the ground floor of the Rottingdean windmill. The millstones on the floor above are driven from here.
This large wooden gearwheel is mounted atop the Upright shaft and receives drive from the brake wheel which is driven by the windshaft and sails. Sadly, it was cut in half during the fitting of a steel skeleton to assist in supporting the mill.

Beacon Mill or New Mill is a grade II listed[1] smock mill at Rottingdean, Sussex, England which has been restored as a seamark.


Beacon Mill, was built in 1802. There are records of an earlier mill on the site, thought to have been a post mill.[2] During the digging of the foundations, a human skeleton was found.[3] The mill was working until 1881[2] and by 1890 was in such bad condition that demolition was considered. In 1905, the Marquis of Abergavenny had the mill repaired, but she was derelict again by the early 1920s. It was 1935 before she was restored again, the millwrighting being done by Neve's of Heathfield and new sails were made by Holman's, the Canterbury millwrights. In 1969, the mill was leaning to the north east, and Hole's, the Burgess Hill millwrights erected a steel frame inside the smock to support the mill, and fitted new sails.[3] The steel framing was extended into the cap in 1974[2]


Beacon Mill is a three-storey smock mill on a single-storey brick base. It has a Kentish-style cap, and four Patent sails. It originally had a fantail, but this is now missing.[3]


  • Thomas Beard 1802 – owner
  • George Nicholls 1877 – 1881

References for above:-[3]

Culture and Media[edit]

The Rottingdean windmill was the inspiration for the trademark (logo) for the publishing house of Heinemann. It was designed by Sir William Nicholson, a Rottingdean resident, and on older Heinemann hardbacks you will see it engraved on the back board of the book. Although Rottingdean Mill was Nicholson's inspiration, he actually traced an older Dutch post-mill as his final design. Updated versions of the windmill are still used for Heinemann publications.

Beacon Mill featured on the front cover of the album "Vale Industrial" by Brighton band The Tenderfoot[4]

The mill also featured in the music video for That Old Pair of Jeans by Fatboy Slim.[citation needed]

Public access[edit]

Beacon Mill is open to the public from 14:00 to 16:30 on both days of National Mills Weekend, and on the third Sunday of each month from May to September.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historic England. "ROTTINGDEAN WINDMILL AT NGR 365 024, NEVILL ROAD (north off), BRIGHTON, BRIGHTON AND HOVE, EAST SUSSEX (1380100)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b c The Story of the Rottingdean Windmill. Rottingdean: The Rottingdean Preservation Society. 1977. pp. (leaflet).
  3. ^ a b c d Brunnarius, Martin (1979). The Windmills of Sussex. Chichester: Philimore. pp. 63–64, 190. ISBN 0-85033-345-8.
  4. ^ "Rottingdean windmill on album cover". Windmill World. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
  5. ^ "Rottingdean Windmill". Sussex Mills Group. Retrieved 19 April 2009.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Hemming, Peter (1936). Windmills in Sussex. London: C W Daniel. Online version