Sandy Cross Mill

I’ll make no bones about it. I love windmills – and water mills as well. Mills are based around understandable engineering. There’s a wonderful absence of incomprehensible electronics. Yet despite comparative simplicity they are such elegant structures, whether of the post, smock or tower mill style.

Sandy Cross Mill was near Heathfield in Sussex. My great granny was a servant for the miller at the time of the 1871 census. She was Ruth Clarke and she had been born in 1854.

Now censuses are another thing I love. They are the documents which really help to build a picture of a person and a family and the community in which they lived. But of course, they have limitations. Firstly, of course, they only tell you about one day in every ten years. It doesn’t pay to think they tell you everything. I wish that addresses were given better. That 1871 census just says ‘Sandy Cross Mill’ as the address for family and servant – my great granny. I am sure they did not actually live in the mill building.

I never saw the mill. It was felled in 1916. The owners, descendants of the miller Great Granny had worked for, were offered a good price for the timber, and the mill vanished. But a postcard had been made, so I can see what the mill looked like.


This was the mill Great Granny knew and this was the view in the year 2006.


There is a nearby Mill House, so I suspect this was where Great Granny lived in 1871.


She, of course, was a dairymaid and general servant. It wasn’t her house.


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One Response to “Sandy Cross Mill”

  1. currentdescendent Says:

    I always loved windmills. The Dutch type like my ancestors had, and the American farm ones. But now there are so many hideous windmills killing birds around Palm Springs (sorry for the negative comment!) that it makes me sad to see what has happened to windmills.

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