Park Mill at Bateman's

view of Batemans Mill East Sussex

The present mill dates from 1795. Kipling loved the mill and incorporated it into his much loved Puck of Pook's Hill stories which were written at Bateman's.

The restoration of the mill

The mill was subject to a major restoration programme between 1969 and 1975 as it had fallen into a sad state of repair. The generator was still there but the turbine casing was split due to it being allowed to freeze-up in the late 1920s. At that time an oil-engine driven generator was installed near the battery house to give house lighting until the mains supply came in the early 1930s.
The Royal Engineers rebuilt the turbine-generator and a team of volunteers tended to repairs on the fabric of the mill and her machinery, including replacing the water wheel.The ground floor had disappeared and the roof was broken and leaking. Some of the brickwork was rotten and the weatherboarding of the outside walls needed replacement. Woodworm and beetle had attacked the machinery and the framwork. The site was overgrown and the waterways choked.
The mill continued to grind quite happily until last year when the the axle tree started to emit some unfamiliar and worrying noises, so it was decided that after 40 years of service a new one was needed. Fund raising for £150,000 was started for this major project which will include improvements to the mill's water supply so that milling can take place more frequently.
In August 2016 the old axle tree was removed and a new one has been created by Ian Clark Restorations.  It is hoped that the new parts will be put back early in 2017.
Take a look at this picture story of the works to date. Park Mill restoration picture story (PDF / 1.7MB) download   or see some close up pictures of the new axle in construction Park Mill new tree axle images (PDF / 0.4MB) download
We hope to have Park Mill working again soon.