Tilburstow

 

Tilburstow Hill,

Roman road.  South of the chalk and parallel with it. Part of the greensand ridge. this is the old Lewes Road the ancient road into Sussex.

Lamb’s Brickworks. This site is reached by turning off the west side of Tilburstow Hill along a minor road on the south side of the railway embankment. The site was acquired by the Trollope family in about 1895. It had previously been a pottery. A wirecut brickworks was built which consisted of a boiler, a steam engine, a continuous kiln with a square chimney,  three beehive kilns and a rectangular kiln. The bricks were dried before kilning with exhausted steam from the engine. During WWI the site was requisitioned for use as a large ammunition dump by the military. The Lamb family acquired the site in 1919 when new plant for stiff plastic bricks was installed. This included 2 German submarine engines to generate electricity. In 1920 production of hand made roofing tiles was started. A new kiln with a round chimney slightly higher than the square one was built. Increased in 1936 by the installation of Berry machines to produce stock bricks. During WWII the plant was once again requisitioned-this time for the Canadian Army who used it as a Royal Armament Depot for the repair of tanks and general armaments. Production of handmade tiles was not continued after the war because of competition from concrete tiles. The manufacture of stiff plastic bricks ceased in 1964, also because of severe competition. The business was thriving in 1993 but for stock bricks only. The following describes the process. Water, Weald clay, spent fuel from fluidized bed furnaces purchased from, among other firms, Reeds paper mills and Tate and Lyles' is blended. The plastic mixture is conveyed by belts to a machine which presses it into brick shaped wooden moulds after coating the moulds with sand. The soft bricks are then dropped out of the moulds onto trolleys and pushed along rail tracks to special drying sheds,  where they are dried for days before delivery kilns (clamps) which are then sealed at their fronts with waste bricks and sand. The kilns are fired with gas jets set in their backs. At the high temperature produced (1100 deg. C.) the small amounts of residual fuel (coal) incorporated into the bricks ignite and play their part in producing the black and red mottled bricks. In 1993 it is pleasing to note that an up-to-date plant stands in a modern business park built from redundant parts of the site and its buildings. A fine example of a long-standing local business adapting to modern times. The works owes its existence to its clay pits in the deep stratum of Wealden clay. A test bore in 1926 proved the seam to be 365 feet thick.

railway siding which once served the works is still in existence but is now used by British Railways for the disposal and part recovery of railway ballast in redundant clay pits. It was closed in the early 1960s but later reopened.

Ammunition Store, Lamb's brickworks was requisitioned as a an  ammunition and explosives store during World War I, At that time it belonged to the Trollope family but was sold to the Lamb family in 1919.

Tank Depot, Lamb's Brickworks were requisitioned during WWII and used as a Royal Armament depot by the Canadians to repair tanks and general armaments.

Oil Pipeline Esso have a network of pipelines connecting their refinery at Fawley to terminals in the north of England, the Midlands, Wales and London. Between 1981 and 1982 an extension of the pipeline which connected Fawley to the west London terminal was built. It branched off at Alton in Hampshire and terminated at  Purfleet after following a devious course which took in Gatwick. Along this line it is possible to pump batches of various grades of refined oils and petroleum without them mixing. It is quite easy to trace this pipeline across Tandridge District by means of roadside markers. The reader is left to perform this exercise on his or her own but as a clue there is one marker at Lamb's Brick Works, South Godstone.

Road milestone on south of old A22, was on the turnpike

Godstone Farm open

White Cottage

Sandpit

Shaft and some remains

Tilburstow Windmill.  This was a post mill at the summit and it was a few metres to the east side of the road. the mill, which dated from at least 1760, was a very prominent landmark until it collapsed in 1805. There are now no obvious     remains it was another of those mills which were once in the hands of Richard Dewdney of Bletchingley (although owned by Sir Robert Clayton) and therefore it had the alternative name, Dewdney's Mill

Iron Peartree House acquired its name from the fact that the peartree in the garden bore iron hard fruit.  In the 18th century the house became involved in a thriving trade. Water from its well was sold in London for its alleged curative properties. 

Orme House School, Formerly Tilburstow Hill LodgeA damaged and decayed brick-built ice-house, can be seen built into a bank about 150 yards from the road. The interior chamber is about 3.3m in diameter and about 2.7m high

6 fox & Hounds .This attractive, 14th-century building became a  pub at the beginning of the 17th century, when  it was a brew-pub. With a long history of being  involved in smuggling, today the Fox & Hounds is a comfortable refuge

Tilburstowe Common

Enterdent Road

Anti-Tank Obstacles The pyramidal concrete anti-tank blocks formerly known as dragons teeth to the public and as pimples to the military are rare to find in the district. However there is a line at The Enterdent which presumably filled a gap in the defences of Godstone which is otherwise  protected by a series of ponds and lakes.

Leigh Mill, Domesday site on the Gibbs Brook.  With Richard Hills. Leigh Mill is at Leigh Place on Gibb's Brook and is set in a picturesque and complex area of lakes, streams, woodlands, and hills.  Now a private residence near Leigh Place.  It was not mentioned in the Domesday survey but was in use during the 14th century and by •the end of the 16th century gunpowder was being manufactured under the direction of George Evelyn.  However in 1635 Charles I appointed Samuel Cordwell and George Collins of the Chilworth gunpowder mills near Guildford as his gunpowder makers.  As a result Leigh Mill reverted to corn milling. Milling ceased in 1934.  And it is possible, with a little difficulty, to see the slowly deteriorating iron waterwheel while standing on the dam, which is a public footpath, on the north west side of the former mill building. Gunpowder is a mixture of finely divided sulphur, saltpetre (potassium nitrate) and charcoal produced by grinding these ingredients together, while damp, in an incorporating mill. Queen Elizabeth I was concerned that England depended on its gunpowder supply by importing both sulphur and saltpetre. In 1561 she therefore purchased the secret of making saltpetre from a German, Gerrard Honrick. This involved extraction from animal manure  and therefore places such as stables and   dovecots assumed a new importance. Thus it was that, in 1589, George and John Evelyn and Richard Hill were licensed by the Queen to collect saltpetre throughout most of England and convert it to gunpowder. As an eventual result the Evelyns were to manufacture gunpowder at Leigh Mill up until 1636.    They lost the business in that year because Samuel Cordwell and George Collins of    Chilworth were appointed by Charles I as sole makers of gunpowder. Consequently the industry left Godstone.

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