These buildings were built in the late 19th or early 20th century, and are typical of the small workshops that were once very common in towns and villages.
The Witley joiners’ shop contains a practical educational display relating to building construction and associated subjects. This is open for schools by appointment and at other selected times for family use.
Late 19th—early 20th century
The joiners’ shop belonged to the Mullard family of Witley. Originally it was the carpenters’ and joiners’ shop for a firm doing general building work, and a dozen men would have worked at the three benches inside.
Latterly the firm concentrated on monumental masonry and coffin making. The bench nearest the fire was known as the ‘coffin bench’. It contains a small cubby-hole where the pot of pitch was kept, after being heated on the fire.
The Redford pugmill house is a 19th century building of brick and stone, designed to house a pugmill and the horse turning it. It is six-sided, and the diameter of the internal walking circle is seventeen feet. Two of the walls have small windows, two have wide openings, and two have doorways, but the purpose of this arrangement is not known.
No pugmill had survived at Redford, so we have installed an example which came from a brickyard at East Grinstead. All other traces of the brickyard at Redford have now disappeared, but it is shown on the Tithe Map of 1838 as having four drying sheds (each nearly 100 feet long), a kiln, a moulding shed, and other unidentifiable buildings which probably included a stable.
Near the Redford pugmill house is a 19th century horse ‘gin’, or engine. Horse-driven engines were used to power many mechanised processes, from threshing corn to raising coal from mines.
This one was used for pumping water from a well. It came from the village of Patching, and the lining for the well, which consists of curved blocks of chalk, came from a disused well close to the Old Forge at Ashington.
Top 3 Interesting Facts
A Typical Workshop
The building is typical of workshops found in towns and villages in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Looking up at the building you can see larger doors, which allowed finished items to leave the building.
The Mullard Family
The workplace of 12 men, the Mullard family’s general building firm’s work included coffin making.