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    Punnetts Town
(The Windmill on the Hill)


Name Derivation

General Details

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.

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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).


Services

Punnetts Town , as it is only about 4 miles from Heathfield has very few services, with the majority found in the market town.

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.


Views

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.

 
       
 
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