Rottingdean Windmill Beacon Hill Open Days 2015

018Sunday 19th July, Sunday 16th August, Sunday 20th September
No booking required
Wheelchair access: to the ground floor
Parking: available in the village

How to get to Rottingdean.

For a full map of Rottingdean with all our attractions on it see our map of Rottingdean

Rottingdean Windmill has stood high up on Beacon Hill for over 200 years overlooking the village and the sea. It can be seen from at least two miles away, a symbol of Rottingdean itself. Rescued from demolition and restored, it is now open to the public on the 3rd Sunday of each month from May to September.

These open days are a wonderful opportunity to see inside one of Rottingdean’s iconic landmarks. The windmill is organised and maintained by The Rottingdean Preservation Society and the Open Days manned by volunteers. Although admission is free, donations are always welcome to help with the Society’s invaluable work.

The windmill on Beacon Hill is a familiar landmark between Roedean and Rottingdean. It is a Grade 2 listed smock-mill dating from 1802 and was built for Thomas Beard, a member of an old Rottingdean family.

Smock-mills were traditionally weather-boarded with six or eight sloping sides and a revolving cap which allowed the sails to take advantage of the wind. They were given this name because of their resemblance to a farmer’s smock.

Rottingdean mill was used to grind local corn into flour for village bakers. In 1877 the miller was George Nicholls. His young son Harry went around the village each day delivering hot rolls before going to school.

Sir Edward Burne-Jones’ wife Georgiana records seeing the mill working in 1880. However, by the end of that century, its only use was as a changing room for the cricketers-who played on Beacon Hill until the First World War.

The mill’s disrepair resulted in many efforts by landowners and villagers to preserve it. The machinery was removed and an internal steel framework fitted to hold the structure together. In 2001 a £40,000 Heritage Lottery Grant enabled the sails, or “sweeps” as they are known, to be restored. The current Trustees of the mill are The Rottingdean Preservation Society.

Rottingdean mill has been known internationally since the artist Sir William Nicholson produced a woodcut of it. His design was used as the trademark for Heinemann publishers and has appeared on their books since 1897.

Rottingdean’s tourist leaflet updated for 2015

RVL NEWwebimageAn new version of Rottingdean’s tourist leaflet, updated for 2015, has just been completed, and the printed version will be available from early July. 

The leaflet is illustrated with over 50 photographs and is packed with useful information about the village’s fascinating history and famous residents. It gives a brief description of some of Rottingdean’s historic buildings and places of interest together with maps of where to find them. There is a calendar of key annual events and the leaflet also provides links to this website and others for further information on many topics.

A downloadable PDF version is available immediately by clicking on the leaflet image in the right-hand column on the homepage of this website.

The printed leaflet is circulated free of charge to every household in and around Rottingdean, and is distributed to Rottingdean businesses, as well as libraries, guest houses, hotels and Tourist Information Centres around East and West Sussex.

New Visitor Information Point opens at The Grange

Lynda Hyde, Mayor of Brighton & Hove officially opened a new VIP (Visitor Information Point) at the Grange on the afternoon of Thursday 2 July.

The much needed and long awaited VIP can be found in the old computer room on the ground floor and is wheelchair accessible. Leaflets and literature, including local maps plus a selection of the library’s local history books are available for visitors to browse through. Importantly, there is once again somewhere for local businesses and organisations to put information about forthcoming activities and events.

Rottingdean’s VIP is the 15th in a network of visitor information points to be opened across Brighton & Hove and also the first to be established so far from the city centre. Visit Brighton, the official tourism body for Brighton & Hove, has trained library staff to provide information about attractions, events, facilities and who will also be providing a face-to-face welcome for visitors to the area.

A computer in the facility currently gives access to the council’s website, but visitors will also soon be able to access this site, with all it’s essential Rottingdean news and local historical information.

Visit Brighton, part of Brighton & Hove City Council, has worked with Rottingdean Trade, Business & Professional Association and Rottingdean Parish Council as well as colleagues in the library service to create the visitor information point.

Councillor Adrian Morris, the new Labour administration’s lead member for tourism and arts, said: “Rottingdean is a beautiful part of the city with a rich history. The new visitor information point will give visitors and residents alike an original way to find out more about the village, local attractions and events coming up. Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to supporting tourism across the city and this new service will hopefully encourage visitors to enjoy what is on offer in Rottingdean.”

Rottingdean Visitor Information Point Opening
Photo: Bob Curtis Photography 01273 303311

Rottingdean Garden Designer Joins BBC Chelsea & Gardeners World Teams

After great reception to Juliet’s debut piece last Friday on BBC2 Gardeners World, Juliet has now joined Monty Don, Carol Klein, Joe Swift et al in covering the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

JS with Darren Hawkes Chelsea 2015
Image by Shenagh Hume

On Gardeners World Juliet covered:
The use of gardening therapy in treatment of people with mental illness at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in South London. Interviewing and gardening with two young men, who have found gardening tremendously helpful in their recovery.

At Chelsea Juliet has covered :
1. Chris Beardshaw’s garden designed to help create a healthier community in Poplar, London
2. Ruth Wilmott’s Garden for Breakthrough Breast cancer
3. Recycling of the show gardens after Chelsea (Matthew Wilson and Darren Hawkes’s gardens)
4. R. Wilkinsons vegetable stand in the Great Pavilion

This year at Chelsea there is an emerging theme of health and gardens, which is a long-standing interest of Juliet’s. Having first worked as a medical doctor, she has long campaigned for greater recognition of the importance of gardening and good landscape to our health and well-being. In the design of her own gardens, she places great emphasis on the way that the garden will make you feel, as well as the way that it looks.

Juliet was delighted by the RHS press release yesterday that the government has agreed to work more closely with the horticultural industry to support and develop it and to investigate the use of gardening as therapy in the NHS.

Juliet Sargeant
Mobile: 07934 496 118
Office: 01273 300 587
Email :
Website :
Twitter : @JulietSargeant

200 Club Monthly Prize Draw – April 2015

The winners of the 200 Club last month were:

1. Alan Roberts – Peacehaven resident £50 (no 79)
2. Christine Storrie -Rottingdean resident £25 (no156)
3. June Salisbury- Rottingdean resident £15 (no 3)
4. Helen Clark – Rottingdean resident £10 (no 51)

July is the renewal date to become or renew membership for the 200 Club at £12 a year. Forms are available at the post office or via Harold Williams on 01273 302431 or email 40% of the income from the draw will go to village events and local worthy causes. On reaching optimum 200 numbers the four monthly prizes will range from £10-£50 with bumper £240 at Christmas.

Photo Found In An Attic Inspires New WW2 Play By Rottingdean Writer

Brochure image - Monte Cassino Morning - TheatreA wartime photograph, discovered in a family attic, has inspired a new play by Rottingdean writer, Jill Hucklesby.

The photo depicts Jill’s uncle, a captain in the Royal Artillery, marrying a nurse near enemy lines in Cassino, Italy, 1944.

“The image was so poignant, it made we want to know more,” Jill explains. “My research journey took me to the Allied cemetery at Cassino, where I found my uncle’s grave. He died aged just 23, two days after his wedding. It was here that the heart of an old soldier’s story began to beat, and “Monte Cassino Morning” was born. The play is an exploration of my uncle’s romance during the Italian Campaign, set just before the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino. It features a veteran soldier, finally confronting the past and finding the only road home leads back to the battlefield.”

Nicola Haydn, Artistic Director of Otherplace Productions, was quick to invite the show to premiere at The Pit at The Basement, one of the company’s venues in Brighton. “It’s a gripping and poignant story with a fresh take on wartime subject matter,” she said.

The show stars former RSC actor, David Fielder, and West End performer Nicky Croydon-Bond and is directed by Chris Bond (writer/director of ‘Sweeney Todd’ and 100 other shows). Design is by Ellen Cairns. It opens in Brighton Fringe on May 1st and runs until May 5th (6.30 pm and 7.30 pm on the last night). Tickets are £10/£8.50 concessions. More information online at Otherplace Productions, Brighton Fringe, or in person at the Fringe ticket office, One Stop Travel, North Street, Brighton) and on

Spring Is Here With Madwax Candles

2005a-simering-granules-essential-oilsSpring is finally here and we are all looking forward to BBQ’s and long summer evenings outdoors, however most of us would rather not enjoy this space with insects. There are lots of natural ways to help keep bugs at bay for example Citronella is known all around the world as an “all natural” mosquito and tick repellent.

There are lots of ways you can use Citronella, from granules which you can either leave in an open bowl to emit its fragrance (ideal in garden rooms) or you can light a teaspoonful of them in an oil burner.

You can place Citronella tea lights in containers in your garden or you can use Citronella scented jars and pots placed on suitable surfaces to deter bees and other insects. The Bees will naturally flee from smoke, and become dazed and less aggressive if they inhale too much of it. So even an unscented candle can be a natural way to keep your table free from pesky insects.

3320-candle-scented-citronella-jar-bolsius-jarCitronella as a repellent is safe and non-toxic to humans and animals (including insects). Although it is always best to burn Citronella products outside or with good ventilation as some people can have mild allergic reactions. Citronella does not kill insects but merely helps to repel them by masking the scents they are attracted too.

Citronella can be everything you need to make your evening go with more of a swing and less of a bite!

Pop in and see our wide range of Citronella and other garden products at 57 High Street Rottingdean or visit us online at

10% off all citronella products if you say “BEES ARE GREAT” (in store only for limited period).


SAFE Rottingdean – St Aubyns Field Evergreen

A substantial development is being proposed for St Aubyns Field (you can read more about this here).

SAFE have worked with Rottingdean Parish Council who have resolved to designate the site a ‘Local Green Space’. However Brighton & Hove City Council must adopt this into their Local Development Plan to save the Field forever.

The newly formed SAFE Committee are working hard to do just that. Help us to…

  • Save St Aubyns school playing field from developers and establish a public park
  • Support the sympathetic development of the main St Aubyns school site
  • Reduce traffic levels and traffic congestion in Rottingdean
  • Reduce air pollution levels in Rottingdean (which breach EU limits)

SAFE need the support of local residents. You can help by signing the online petition and donating to the SAFE campaign. Click here to Donate.

Click here to sign the online petition!

SAFE is a non-profit community organisation.

Beacon Hub – Community Project Spring Update

The Beacon Hub Kiosk

Just over a year ago, a group of volunteers stemming from Friends of Beacon Hill met with the shared vision of acquiring the redundant pitch & putt golf course at Rottingdean as an annexe to the existing Local Nature Reserve, and to re-develop the kiosk building to create a learning space relating to local ecology and heritage for the enjoyment of Brighton & Hove residents and visitors of all ages.

Situated just 3 miles to the east of Brighton city centre, between Rottingdean & Ovingdean and within the boundary of the South Downs National Park, the land is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council. Initially, the council had sought a commercial tenant for the land and proposals were put forward for leisure activities including setting up an off-road course for Segway machines. Thankfully, and largely due to concerted objections from local people, none of these schemes were considered appropriate and the Beacon Hub group were invited to present a sustainable business proposal.

Support was sought for the project, with encouraging messages forwarded by numerous influential institutions including Rottingdean Parish Council, local schools and individuals including BBC Wildlife broadcaster, Chris Packham who states: “Brighton is one of the liveliest, most interesting & cosmopolitan cities in Europe and it is perched on the edge of one of the most important pieces of habitat that we have anywhere in Europe too. The downs are a great repository of unique life, a beautiful landscape and a treasure trove of history and culture. Developing an educational focus point for Brighton¹s populace to better enable them to engage with this fabulous and valuable part of the world is quite simply a fantastic and irresistible idea. Please support it!”

It was decided that the group should pursue their aims as a Chartable Incorporated Organisation under the title of Beacon Hub Brighton and after much research, a 62 page proposal was presented to the City Council last July, requesting that Beacon Hub Brighton CIO (recently recognised by the Charities Commission) be granted a 15 year lease, that the land should become part of the nature reserve allowing space for public amenity, and that permission be granted to re-develop the existing building. Significantly, Brighton and Lewes downs were recently awarded UNESCO Biosphere status and the project’s educational, community led ethos is in many ways complimentary to this.

In August 2014, the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee met in Hove where a delegation of the group’s trustees learned the exciting news that the committee had decided to award them the lease and were fully supportive. Since then, things have moved forward with David F Smith Surveyors and local architect Kinga Hoffman donating their work on layouts to optimise available space on the existing kiosk footprint, in order to create a classroom able to accommodate 30 children, as well as providing a lobby area with contextual displays, a small office, kitchen with external serving hatch and appropriate conveniences. Although the existing building is not listed, it was decided in consultation with the Brighton & Hove Heritage Commission that as much of the original external appearance of the building should be retained because of its context and proximity to the Rottingdean smock windmill.

Once the building plans are finalised, planning permission will be sought and quantity surveying will inform a target for fundraising through the Heritage Lottery Fund and internet crowd funding. Funding was given a head-start with a generous pledge of £25,000 from a local resident and should efforts to raise the required amount be successful and timely, that building work should begin in the autumn of 2015. Most recently, negotiations have begun with Brighton & Hove City Council regarding terms of the lease for the building and land management of the golf course area. Law Firm DMH Stallard kindly offered legal advice for this purpose. Fundraising is also proceeding with the Rottingdean Miniature Air Show to take place at Longhill School on March 14th, with all proceeds being donated to the project. Other fund raising events are also planned for the coming year – details will be publicised once confirmed.

In the meantime, the Beacon Hub Brighton volunteers hope to garner as much financial and practical support as possible from local individuals, companies and organisations. If you would like to get involved with the project by donating your time, skills or resources, please contact BHB Trustee, Jay Butler: You can get up to date news on the project and pledge support at:

BEACON HUB BRIGHTON Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Reg. Charity No. 1,159,583)
Trustees: Libby Darling, Clive Bonny, Atlanta Cook, Jay Butler & Jo Spickett

Brighton Half Marathon comes to Rottingdean – well almost!

On 22 February the 25th VITALITY Brighton Half Marathon 2015 will be coming along the coast road towards Rottingdean. You can see the route they’ll run on race day in a Go Pro course video on the race website.

The actual race begins at 9:00am but road closures will start from 8:15am.

It’s a major charity event that promises to be an exciting one, with many thousands of spectators lining the route to cheer competitors on.

Support for is always appreciated, particularly as two of our local charities are listed: The Martlets as “Deck Chair Charity Partners”, and the Blind Veterans UK as “Beach Ball Charity Partners”.

For more detailed information about the event, timings, road closures and travel arrangements, visit their website: