Chailey is one of the largest rural parishes in the country, extending for 9km from North ti South and for 6km from east to west. Situated opposite the windmill on Red House Common stands a yew tree that marks the centre of Sussex.
Situated on Red House Common, this heritage smock mill is open to the public and well worth a visit. The mill itself was the seventh on this site and was built in 1836, putting in service at West Hoathly and Newhaven before being moved to Chailey. It was a working mill until the 1930s. Also known as Beard’s Mill, it is a Grade-II listed building and houses a rural life museum.
Stretching over 180 hectares, Chailey Common Nature Reserve is one of the the largest commons in the south east of England. Here you will find an abundance of heather, grazing ponies, cattle and an impressive variety of birds.
Just over 4 miles north of Lewes town lies the village of Barcombe which is often described as being three villages in one. There is the original settlement which surrounds the church, Barcombe Cross where villagers fled to escape the Black Death and Barcombe Mills, a popular fishing spot.
Today Barcombe is a thriving village with shops and a pub serving local real ale. It is served by bus services to Lewes, making it a perfect a day out if you are staying in Lewes town.
The mills, which gave Barcombe Mills its name, dated from at least Roman times. There were a variety of mills over the years including flour, oil and button mills. The last mill was built in 1870, but burned down in 1939, bringing the era to an end. A visit to Barcombe Mills is highly recommended. It’s the perfect summer location for wild swimming, picnics and boating and has been named as one of the top ten spots for wild swimming in the country . If you prefer to keep dry you can also hire a boat from the Anchor Inn and paddle the heavenly route to Fish Ladder Falls.