THE SUSSEX VILLAGE OF HERSTMONCEUX
When people think of Herstmonceux, they usually think about this brick built castle, even though (strictly speaking) it is not in the village envelope. The castle is roughly 1.5 miles due south. Within walking distance if you have 30 minutes to spare at a brisk pace.
Herstmonceux (pronounced: "Hers-mon-zoo") is a village in the county of East Sussex in the South East of England. It is the location of Herstmonceux Castle and the former site of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Planners at Wealden District Council have failed to provide affordable housing for locals, piped gas supplies and a decent mobile phone signal. Worse still, they have allowed unsightly development to be built on the western side of the High Street, and a pumping station on the eastern side of the village, known locally as 'Shit Creek,' built by Southern Water without planning permission, allegedly. Named after the hit Canadian sitcom: Schitt's Creek.
Herstmonceux was once famous for the Sussex trug. Trugs are baskets made from willow boards set in an ash or chestnut frame.
However, this tiny village, with its single parade of shops along the busy A271 (Gardner Street), a bottleneck for traffic, is perhaps more famous for The Old Generating Works (now Herstmonceux Museum), which together with Rudyard Kipling's Batemans, is the only surviving evidence of the early electricity generating industry in Sussex.
The generating buildings were restored by a conservationist while he was using the workshops to build many eco creations, where he was also a trustee of the rare survivor. The gentleman has become well know in his own right for his conceptual insight and skill in hand crafting vehicles, boats, and even a robot, many of which inventions attracted patents in recognition of his design genius. But the workload is significant as is the cost of conversion.
HX GENERATING STATION, COAL - Everywhere you dig on this site you will find coal or battery parts. This was a find from June 2016, that came as a bit or a surprise to ground workers when they dug down and found concrete and timber mountings some 900mm below the surface of other concrete and brick mountings. In 1981, this whole area was covered in earth. The deeper excavation had timber firings onto which a steel cooker was used to extract gas from coal. The gas being fed to a 36hp National, internal combustion engine, that then turned a generator, to power the village of Herstmonceux with a 48 volt dc supply, well before Eastbourne and Brighton had municipal supplies. The other interesting fact, is this is the only surviving early example of electricity load-levelling in the whole world. Making this site unique and something rather special archaeologically and scientifically. The building was constructed of wood.
For this reason the generating buildings are now being converted by the Lime Park Heritage Trust, to become Herstmonceux's one and only working museum, in honour of one of the most creative people alive today, possibly also, one of the smallest museums in the world. At present (updated July 2023), the complex enjoys no reasonable of beneficial use.
The building will remain available for future developments and may itself become a work-in-progress, with experiments to harvest energy from nature. It is hoped that Herstmonceux Museum will be open to the public in time to come - but access will be limited to only a few open days - since it is not economically viable to provide staff on a permanent basis. And maintenance of the wooden structure is very expensive.
The generating building is included on a Monument Protection Program (MPP) since it had fallen into a state of disrepair, much as the windmill at Windmill Hill, had been allowed to deteriorate to the stage where that almost fell down. The windmill was saved with the help of a £500,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery fund.
NEGLIGENCE AND DECEIT
The protected monument status did little to spur Wealden District Council to provide any beneficial use - mainly because they had lied to Inspectors for so many years, saying that the building was not the generating buildings. We conclude from this sorry state of affairs that Monument Protection Programmes (MMPs) of English Heritage (now Historic England) are of little value where corrupt council's are more concerned to cover up their mistakes and illegal vendettas. Shame on you Trevor Scott. Shame on you David Phillips and Victorio Scarpa, for allowing discriminatory policies to remain on the agenda, well after enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998. Shame on you Christine Nuttall, for working with Vic Scarpa to discriminate against so. Shame on you Ian Kay and Ashley Brown for misleading committee members as to the facts, and Shame on all of those involved in setting the brave engineer up for daring to publish his findings and challenge the legal might of a council out of control. Lastly, shame on Sussex police for aiding and abetting these officers and refusing to investigate 12 unrelated petitioners complaints. There is of course no statute of limitations on such crimes, brought to the attention of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, but then then Head of State (as of 2020) had refused to get involved to offer an effective remedy, as has the Justice Minister and Attorney General. The matter now falls to King Charles III to resolve, if he has a mind.
The sad fact is that Herstmonceux village is effectively governed by Wealden District Council, who appear to have a stranglehold on the Parish Council, and there is little that can be done about that - all the while members and officers remain in place who were party to the fraudulent representations to the Secretary of State. Of course those responsible will continue to draw their fat salaries and expenses, milking the system - and for what? For not doing their job. For hiding behind a corporate veil and a web of lies. Nice work if you can get it. But how do these people sleep at night. No wonder our rates are so high.
We imagine that any salary drawn and enjoyed by either being party to a fraud, or nursing that fraud, would be classed as proceeds of crime - and so recoverable from the offenders at some point in the future.
Two of the telescope copper clad housings at Herstmonceux observatory, on the Greenwich Meridian.
Other buildings of note in the locality include Lime House and Lime Cottage. Lime Cottage is a grade 2 listed building. Lime House is the manor house previously owned by the Baron de Roemer. It was his son who built the generating building and supply network which gave electricity to Herstmonceux in advance of other towns between 1900 and 1936. A pioneer indeed.
For more information on this interesting building, see: ARCHAEOLOGY
Previously known as The Old Steam House in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, the building is under new management, converting to a working museum. It is both shameful and tragic that Wealden District Council lied to the Secretary of State between 1986/7, the object being to hide the origins of this valuable archaeological find - and not give the then occupier a grant to restore. Rather, this Council spent around £500,000 of taxpayers money seeking to part the then owner from the property, preferring that near neighbours should benefit from acquisition at an undervalue. Such agendas are of course illegal and immoral and constitute a course of malicious conduct, that should lead to prosecution of the offenders. In this case Sussex Police not only refuse to investigate, but Katy Bourne, the then current crime commissioner appears to be rowing herself into the fray by saying that she is happy that no proper investigation took place. It is unclear if this extends to "will" take place in the future. For his part in the cover up, Giles York appears to have been promoted and then forced to resign over what is alleged to have been a death in custody. Unconnected that it may be, he also received honours from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. The chief constable succeeding Mr York was Jo Shiner.
Herstmonceux (Lime Park) is also famous for the prolific writer and artist Augustus Hare. The drawing below is of the drawing room in Lime House.
SUSSEX INDEX A - Z
CUCKMERE VALLEY - EXCEAT
Access to Neighboring Land Act 1992 - the right to enter onto adjoining property to effect repairs
Air BnB - Places to stay near Herstmonceux
All Saints Church, Herstmonceux
Alfriston - King Alfred (burnt the cakes)
Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex
Batemans - Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Book)
Battle - Abbey, 1066 and Battlefield, Battle of Hastings - Norman conquest of England Vs King Harold Godwinson
Beachy Head - Lighthouse
Bed & Breakfast - Close to Herstmonceux
Boxgrove Man, Eartham Pit - Discovery of Homo Heidelbergensis in 1974
Castle, Herstmonceux - Observatory
Charleston Farm House - Firle, home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant - Trust
CIL - Community Infrastructure Levies, another form of property tax
Death Hill - A271, most dangerous junction just outside the village of Herstmonceux
Disneyland - Orlando, Florida and Hong Kong - Tarzan's tree house, themed fun park attraction
Act 2006 - Duties in relation to borrowing against
property and third party insurances
Generating Works, historic building supplying electricity to Herstmonceux village from 1909
Great Crested Newts - Protected species, Wildlife & Countryside Act
HER - Historic Environment Record, East Sussex County Council
Heritage Assets - What are they?
Heritage Statements - When are they required?
Herstmonceux Walkers Association - Ramblers, Dogs and family outings in the fresh air
Homo heidelbergensis, Boxgrove
Hotels - Including guest houses in or near Herstmonceux
Lime Park - Lime, Lime Cottage, Lime House, Linden House, Rectory,
Lime Park Estate Limited - Company number 01893712
Little Venice - The Lake District of Wealden, Herstmonceux
Monument, Site Record, SMR ESCC, Generating Station
Oak Way - houses for sale or rent
Observatory - Herstmonceux Castle
Parish Council, Herstmonceux
Party Wall Act 1996 - Disputes and criminal offences
Pevensey Levels - Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) marshland and nature reserve
Piltdown Man, East Sussex hoax by Charles Dawson in 1912, the missing link
Potholes - Spot a dangerous pothole and send us a picture, but be careful in the taking
Prescription Act 1832 - Acquisition of rights to light and rights of way, easements, etc.
Right to Light - Damages and injunction may flow from aggressive development: Beaumont Vs Florala 2020
Rights of Way - Public footpaths and other right of access
Road Works - Village High Street, A271 single file traffic queues
R v Dytham 1979 QBD 69 criminal appeal R722 - Common law offence of willful neglect in public office
Roman conquest of Britain, Rome, Cogidubnus, Chichester
Schools - Church of England Primary, Hailsham Road, Herstmonceux
Seaford Head - South Downs National Park
Seven Sisters - South Downs Way
SMRs - Site Monument Records - World's oldest surviving generating station with load-levelling
Suicide Junction - Leading to Death Hill A271
TheKeep - East Sussex County Council's monument records archive
Vandals - People and corporations who cause damage to historic assets, physically and visually
Wilful Neglect - In public office, malfeasance common law offence R v Dytham 1979 QBD 69 criminal appeal R722
Windmill Hill - Restored grade II listed post mill built be William Medhurst Circa 1814
Woodlands View - Hillside development
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