Tonight the Cubs were treated to a visit to a lovely an old local landmark. Ifield Mill is thought to be the only working Watermill in West Sussex still powered by its original water source, the Ifield millpond. There is evidence of the use of various mills in the area from as early as 1274. The Ifield Watermill, rebuilt after a fire in 1683, was definitely in operation and used to grind corn from 1660 which it continued to do until the late 1920s after which it was left to deteriorate. It remained in this state until it was by a young lad who went home to tell his father Ted Henbery. Ted and the local rescue archaeologist, John Gibson-Hill, set up a restoration group in order to begin work on the Watermill. With other local enthusiast they campaigned to the Crawley Borough Council for permission to restore it. They were granted agreement and, with the kind donation of £10,000 from the previous owner, Mr. Gordon A. Wood, as well as the help of local companies, work began to restore the Watermill and rebuild the waterwheel in 1974 and today the watermill can boast a working waterwheel. The Watermill is now regularly open to the public, and work continues on the Watermill to this day, for more information about the work of the Crawley Museum Society please visit their web site at http://www.crawleymuseums.org/
Our sincere thanks to Nick Sexton and his team for opening up the mill specially for us tonight and for giving up their evening to show us one of the jewels in Crawley’s Crown.
If you are looking for a Father’s Day treat I understand that the Mill will be having a special open day this Sunday (18th June) from 2.30pm to 5pm. It really is worth a visit and very important to support the work of the volunteers who have restored this lovely building.
Paul Masters. 13th June 2017