The Mill House and William Catt

The man most associated with Tidemills is William Catt who began his career at the Mill aged 26 in 1801. He had previously trained as a miller in Lamberhurst in Kent. William extended the Mill House from the five millstones of 1791 and by 1826 he had installed 14 pairs. He built the village for the millworkers built banks and retaining walls workshops and the like. By the mid 1800s there was a thriving settlement with offices, a forge, carpentry shops, houses and communal washing facilities. The improvements to the mill ponds meant that the mill could operate for 16 hours per day and produce 240 tons of flour a week. Catt was, apparently a fair boss, with a long serving work force. However he was a known to enforce a strict curfew (so that workers did not stay too long in the Buckle Inn). William Catt died in 1853 succeeded by his son George. George Catt had other business interests including the Terminus Hotel in Seaford, built in 1864, a brewery and it is reputed that he had he had subscribed to the building of the railway to Seaford. The Newhaven Harbour Company extended the harbour jetties and as a result the beach between Tidemills and Seaford suffered loss of shingle, requiring sea defences to be built to protect the Mill.

 

Pictures of Mill House and Village

 

 

The Mill went into decline with the coming of steam power in large scale milling and the building of the Railways providing cheaper and more direct transport into big cities, The Mill closed in 1883, but the area remained in industrial  use up to the outbreak of the second world war - see  Tidemills in later years

Moving further inland will bring you to Bishopstone Halt