Historic, centuries-old millstones have been stolen from a Sussex windmill.

The five millstones, worth up to £5,000, were taken from outside the Jill Windmill at Clayton Hill, near Hassocks, over the weekend.

One of the millstones – placed around the windmill which used to be located in Mill Lane, Brighton, but was moved to Mid Sussex in the 1820s using oxen and carts – had a steel memorial plaque on it commemorating a founder of the Jack and Jill Windmill Society.

Yesterday (February 11) current chairman of the society Jack Slaughter, 78, from Hassocks, blasted the people who took the stones and said the huge blocks could have been stolen to be used as garden ornaments.

He said he believed at least four people would have been needed to move each millstone, adding that a hedge was cut away so that a vehicle could get close to the historic monument.

He said society members discovered they had been stolen on Saturday morning (February 9).


He said: “It is disrespectful. This is the first time we have ever had any problems with theft.

“The stones weigh about half-a-tonne to a tonne each.

“You would need a vehicle and a group to lift them. I think they have been taken for a quick sale.”

A Sussex Police spokeswoman: “Thieves visited the windmill and stole these 4ft wide stones which are part of this local landmark.

Distinctive marks

“One is a distinctive dark grey volcanic lava stone with an inscription of “oie 1721”.

“Another is a standard millstone but with four holes drilled into it.

“At least four people would probably have been needed to move each stone and a hedge was cut to enable them to drive them away.”

Contact Sussex Police on 101.

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