Tide Mills, East Sussex

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Tide Mills
Remains of Tide Mills mill race sluice - seaward side.jpg
The derelict mill race sluice, from the seaward side
Tide Mills is located in East Sussex
Tide Mills
Tide Mills
 Tide Mills shown within East Sussex
OS grid reference TQ459002
   – London  50 miles (80 km) N 
Civil parish Seaford
District Lewes
Shire county East Sussex
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Sussex
Fire East Sussex
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Lewes
List of places
East Sussex

Coordinates: 50°46′58″N 0°04′14″E / 50.782865°N 0.0706°E / 50.782865; 0.0706

Plaque of Tide Mills Time-Line
The derelict mill race sluice, from the mill pond side

Tide Mills is a derelict village in East Sussex, England. It lies about two kilometres (1.2 miles) south east of Newhaven and four kilometres (2.5 miles) north west of Seaford and is near both Bishopstone and East Blatchington. The village was abandoned in 1939.

Old village[edit]

The village consisted of a large tide mill and numerous workers' cottages, housing about 100 workers. The tide mill at Bishopstone[1] was erected in 1761 by the Duke of Newcastle,[2] and was later owned and operated by William Catt (1770–1853) and his family.

The Sussex Archaeological Society[3] started a long-term project in April 2006 to record the entire East Beach site: Mills, Railway Station, Nurses Home, Hospital, RNAS Station and the later holiday homes and the Marconi Radio station (1904). Apart from the dig, it will evolve into a huge collection of film, video, recollections and photographs logging the decline of the area.

The mill stopped in around 1900, the village was condemned as unfit for habitation in 1936 with the last residents forcibly removed in 1939.[4] The area was in part cleared to give fields of fire and also used for street fighting training. The site was not used for target practice by Newhaven Fort Artillery, though this story is common locally.[5]

The area accommodated vast numbers of Canadian troops during the Second World War.

There are the remains of a station[6][7] on the Newhaven to Seaford line at grid reference TQ460003. It started life as either Bishopstone Station (the Victorian OS map of 1879 shows it as this together with a short branch line to the mills[8]) or Tide Mills Halt, but became Bishopstone Beach Halt in 1939 before its closure in 1942. This is different from today's Bishopstone railway station at grid reference TV469998.

Mill complex[edit]

Photograph showing a windmill in addition to the tide mill complex

Old photographs and paintings, together with a poem show that the tide mill complex included a windmill.[9]


Access is either via Mill Drove, an insignificant single track road which runs south west from the Newhaven and Seaford roads at approximately the point where one changes into the other grid reference TQ463005 (very limited parking, and access is via a pedestrian railway crossing at Bishopstone Beach Halt); or along the beach to the east of Newhaven Harbour.

In popular culture[edit]

The Tide Mills features in the 2007 novel A Kind of Vanishing[10] by crime-writer Lesley Thomson. Two girls are playing hide and seek in the summer of 1968. Eleanor is hiding from Alice who never comes looking for her. Alice disappears and over thirty years later she is still missing. Much of the 'action' takes place around the Tide Mills. The cover photograph for the UK edition published by Myriad Editions shows a shot of the Tide Mills.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Tide Mills, East Sussex at Wikimedia Commons