Print from a copper etched plate.

By Rob Patten


Any time I am back in the UK I try and get to a little shop in the Lanes called the Witches Ball. It is full of old maps and prints for sale. I recently found this print described as 'Newhaven Bridge Sussex', hand-coloured and engraved on copper. Dated 1790. The bridge would have been constructed six years earlier in 1784.

Click picture to enlarge

Photo:The First Newhaven Bridge

The First Newhaven Bridge

Coloured print from etching 1790

This page was added by Rob Patten on 10/02/2021.
Comments about this page

The hills seem to have shrunk since then.

By Ron Herriott
On 11/02/2021

I would imagine some artistic license was used in creating this print and etching, but, apart from the church and windmill, can we identify any of the buildings ?


By Rob Patten
On 13/02/2021

Yes, some early depictions of the town showed considerable artistic licence!

I can only see the church and windmill (Waterhall Mill?) as being things that I recognise. The lower buildings at the left would perhaps be Tipper's brewery at the end of Bridge Street? I think that was there by then.

By Andy Gilbert
On 13/02/2021

Mind you as a child walking up Church Hill to Northdown Road, it sometimes felt that steep.

By Terry Howard
On 14/02/2021

The windmill on the hill is the old Newhaven Post Mill. A cloth-sailed post mill with tail pole, it was built in 1743 on Windmill Hill, on north side of road that leads over hill west of the old Parish Church. The miller John Pollard is mentioned in the Sussex Advertiser in May 1762. The mill was for sale by auction in July 1769 with the bidding taking place at the Blue Anchor Inn. In January 1774 it was reported that Mr Coombs, a miller from Newhaven died after falling from his horse which had taken fright at something on the road - his lady companion managed to hang on and was unhurt. In 1803 the mill is recorded in the Defence Schedules as owned by John Bollen. In May 1805 it was recorded that Mr Bollen’s Mill was ‘feloniously entered by some person or persons who stole therein a quantity of flour, a spy glass, and some other trifling articles and escaped with their booty”. The mill was advertised for sale in November 1811, “the property of John Bollen on a lease of 99 years, 31 of which unexpired at Michaelmas last, on a ground rent of the yearly sum of £1-2-9. The purchaser will be entitled to remove the mill at his own expense, or leave it to valuation, at the expiration of the lease”. Seems the mill was taken on by William Barnett, who then advertised the mill for sale in February 1818. Norie’s sea chart in 1816 marks the mill and calls it - “Newhaven Burrow Cliff Mill”. In June 1823 was described as an Insolvent Debtor, and was presumably in Horsham Gaol. The mill was advertised for sale again in August 1829 and described as “A capital windmill, standing on about a Rood of land, the lease of which has 13¼ years unexpired, subject to the low annual rent of £1-2-9. The mill at the termination of the present lease may be removed, or a further lease will be granted at the same rent”. In 1828-9 Ann Bollen is recorded as ‘miller, Newhaven’. The mill burnt down in November 1843, the Sussex Advertiser described the disaster…Newhaven. On Wednesday morning about 7 o’clock the windmill belonging to the family of Mr Bollen, of this place, was discovered to be on fire. The origin of the fire is unknown, but it is attributed to the overheating of the machinery, the mill having been worked at a very rapid rate up to 12 o’clock on the previous night. It was totally consumed. It was insured in the Norwich Union Fire Office. We understand that the mill has belonged to the Bollen’s family for upwards of 100 years”.


The post mill was replaced by a smock mill which was brought from Hammingden in West Hoathly (where it was known as Highbrook Mill) in 1844 and re-erected close to the site of the old mill. Mr Bollen died the following year. The smock mill worked at Newhaven until June 1864 when it was on the move again - this time to the North Common at Chailey where it still stands today.

By Justin Brice
On 19/05/2022

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.