Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Windmill Inn, Southwick - Once a House of Repute in Sussex

There have been two pubs of this name, commemorating a windmill that until c 1845 stood nearby. The first pub was built in the late 1850s on the north side of Upper Shoreham Road, which in the 19th century was called Higher Road.

According to the website Directory of Pubs in the UK, the Post Office Directory lists the following licensees: 1866, J. Z. Batterbee; 1878, Henry Peirce; 1890, William Smith; 1899, T. Wood; 1905 and 1915, George Scarrett; 1930, Mrs Elizabeth H. Scarrett.

The original Windmill was owned by the Hove brewery E. Robins & Son previous to its acquisition in the late 1920s by the Kemp Town Brewery.

It remained as a pub until 1934 when the license was transferred to the new Windmill Inn. The three-storey building was used as a fish and chip shop and then a wet fish shop before being demolished in 1972 when the A27 became a dual carriageway.

Following road widening in the mid-1930s, the second Windmill Inn was built at 180 Old Shoreham Road, on the south side, diagonally opposite the first pub, and on the east side of the junction with Roman Road. A Kemp Town Brewery ‘improved public house’, its first licensee may have been a P. Tesher (as recorded in the 1938 Post Office Directory). The licensee during the 1960s was Bobby Lee, ex-captain of Brighton Tigers ice hockey team.

The second Windmill Inn was demolished in September 2010, unfortunately before I was able to photograph it myself.

A new residential development now occupies the site. Grateful thanks to Ted Heasman and Loz Aslett for the photographs.


Aslett, L. (1998), ‘The Pubs of Southwick Past and Present’, Part Two, Sussex Drinker, 13 (summer), pp. 12-14.

Directory of Pubs in the UK, http://pubshistory.com/SussexPubs/ http://pubshistory.com/SussexPubs/Brighton/WindmillSouthwick.shtml

Heasman, W. A. (2009), Memories of Southwick and Kingston Buci, Southwick: Southwick Society.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Railway Tavern, Southwick - Once a House of Repute in Sussex

A Railway Hotel, Southwick, is listed in the early 1930s Kemp Town Brewery publication, “Houses” of Repute in Sussex, but is absent from a 1948 map of the brewery’s houses. The historical website Directory of Pubs in the UK has an entry for the Railway Tavern, 77 Albion Street, Southwick, which is at 137 Albion Street by 1938. This is probably a re-numbering rather than relocation; Loz Aslett (1998) identifies the position of tavern to have been on the north side of Albion Street mid-way between Grange Road and Lock Road. He also states it to have been built in 1840, the same year as Southwick railway station was opened.

Local historian Ted Heasman (2009) claims the tavern to have been built in the 1860s and that the first recorded landlord was a David Brazier in 1866. The Directory of Pubs in the UK historical website concurs with this latter point and, using information from Census, Post Office and Trade Directories etc., identifies the following licensees: 1866, D. Brazier; 1878, William Hylands; 1890, Alfred Funnell; 1899 and 1905, Mrs Harriet Rebecca Dudley; 1915, 1930 and 1938, Richard Stevenson.

Heasman further suggests that the Railway Tavern acquired its name because the station ticket office was until 1899 at the western end of the platform and could then be accessed by a track from the west side of the pub. In the photograph, kindly supplied by Lewis Whitby, originally by way of Ted Heasman, Railway Tavern appears on the fascia but hotel accommodation is clearly advertised on the first floor. The landlord’s surname appears above the door of the Public Bar. The brewers are Abbey & Sons, which dates the photo to between the time that Richard Stevenson took over as licensee and March 1933 when this Brighton-based company registered the name Kemp Town Brewery.

When the track to the railway station was closed, houses, shops and workshops for a garage were built to the west and rear of the tavern. The tavern was a semi-detached building; the other half was later the Post Office. KTB sold the pub in 1940 and the property became offices for Warr and King, architects, before being demolished c. 1963.


Aslett, L. (1998), ‘The Pubs of Southwick Past and Present’, Part One, Sussex Drinker, 12 (spring), pp. 12-14.

Heasman, W. A. (2009), Memories of Southwick and Kingston Buci, Southwick: Southwick Society.