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(The Windmill on the Hill)
Punnetts Town is a long village found about 4 miles
from Heathfield , on the top of a ridge on the
road to Battle .
The great name amongst Sussex mill-owners is Dullaway.
The family owned a mill here called Blackdown Mill,
which burnt down in 1859. The miller then, Samuel
Dullaway bought Kent Cherry Clack Mill from Biddenden .
He had it transported to Punnetts Town by Messrs,
Hobden and Neve. It was set up in that same year, and
Samuel worked it until he died, in 1876.
His sons, Charles, Thomas and John continued the family
tradition both here and at Burwash . John's grandson,
Archie, was still caring for the mill well into the
1970's. In the aftermath of the 1939-1945 war, Archie
decided to restore his great-grandfather's mill to
working condition. He bought some replacement items
from other mills, and made others himself.
Towards the middle of the 1930's the mill fell into considerable
disrepair and so was turned over to being powered by an internal
combustion engine. Strangely, over the best part of a quarter of
a century I never did see the engine itself but it sounded more
like a large, and possibly single cylindered tractor engine than
anything else when it bellowed into the atmosphere.
The business of grinding continued with most of the produce going
as animal feed and in particular for poultry which was a major
industry of the area. (In fact my mother, a teacher, was told by
one of her pupils that the two main employers of the Heathfield
district were chicken farmers and the bus companies.) To the
locals in the wartime period most reference was made to Blackdown
(not necessarily naming the mill as such but in general this was implied).
In this period, before and throughout the war years, there were no
sweeps on the mill. After the war, Archie started taking a keen
interest in the restoration. With the assistance of the Lower
Brothers, particularly Fred and Rowlie and the encouragement of
their father he embarked upon a phased rebuilding of all the
wooden moving parts, gears, shafts, sweeps and fantail.
By the time I left Sussex in 1959 he had completed the main arm of
one pair of the sweeps and the shutters were ready to be assembled
upon it. I think that a short run was given in this configuration
either late in 1959 or in 1960. The completion of the job was still
some way down the track. (We are very grateful to Alf Rogers formerly of
Punnetts Town for the above details of the Mill).
| Punnetts Town , as it is only about 4 miles from Heathfield
has very few services, with the majority found in the
An infrequent bus service from Battle to Heathfield
passes through the village.
The nearest train service is in Stonegate about 9 miles
north east, or Wadhurst about 9 miles North, both on the
London Hastings line, which provides 20 minute services
in the rush hour, and hourly in between.
| As you travel along the Battle road look south to
the South Downs near Eastbourne in all their
splendour. To the left of the Downs you can see the
English Channel at Normans Bay and Pevensey Bay .
The old windmill is still standing, and can be seen from all
round the area.