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Polegate Windmill

Eastbourne, Sussex


Polegate Windmill

Polegate Tower Mill was built in 1817 for local farmer and landowner Joseph Seymour. Sixteen years later a watermill was built nearby and the two worked side by side. By 1860 both were owned by Matthias Mockett and they then passed into the Thomas family.

Ephraim Ovenden, father of the last Miller of Polegate, bought them in 1918 and he, and his son Albert, worked them both.  Ephraim died in 1958 but Albert continued until he retired in 1964. By this time the windmill had the benefit of electricity and wind was no longer the driving force for the Mill.  The mill was then in danger of being lost but the Eastbourne and District Preservation Society had just been formed and came to the rescue. Money was raised by public appeal and the mill was purchased. Much of the mill was complete and in good working order but the cap, stocks, sweeps and fanstaging were all renewed.  Unfortunately, there was no saving of the watermill and it was eventually demolished in 1976.

The windmill was officially reopened by the Duke of Devonshire on 1st July 1967 and, with its museum of milling bygones, is visited by thousands of people every year. Over the years the mill has been open to the public, repairs and renewals have become necessary. In July 1974 one of the stocks fell into the road, breaking one sweep and damaging another. These were replaced by millwrights at a cost of 1800. The nearby malthouse has a new roof complete with an authentic cowl and new staging has been erected.  The iron curb has been repaired and the wooden seating has been replaced so that the cap is now able to revolve on top of the tower. However the Windmill is still not fully restored and work is continuing as funds become available to complete it. 

The Mill is owned by the Eastbourne Civic Society but much of the fund raising is carried out by the Friends of Polegate Windmill. The Mill is open to the public every Sunday from Easter to the end of October from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (longer on Special Event Days) and also Wednesday afternoons in August.  Your interest and support will make possible the continued existence and enjoyment of the Windmill.

see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovenden%27s_Mill%2C_Polegate

Further information Grid


Polegate Windmill, Eastbourne, Sussex

Ceremonial County:  

Grid Reference:

TQ 582041. OS Sheet - 199. 

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Mills open


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Planning Grid


Polegate Windmill, Eastbourne, Sussex

Grid Reference:

TQ 582041. OS Sheet - 199. 

Getting there:

West of A2271, at Park Croft, Polegate. 4 miles north of Eastbourne, mile south of junction with A27.







Things To Do, See and Photograph:


What to take:


Nature highlights:







Lawrence Stevens 01323 734496 
Parties Frances Muncey 01323 644727

Opening times:

Easter to October, Sundays & Bank Holidays, also Wednesdays in August, 14.00 - 17.00. Other times by appointment.  National Mills Sunday 11.00 17.00. 



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