Railway station and crossing

As you leave the Mill House and Tide Mills Village the remains of the station keeper’s cottage can be found, again with its interpretation board.

The extension of the railway to Seaford was considered as early as 1845, before the arrival of the first trains at Newhaven. The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway reached there by 1847. At that time Seaford had been described as consisting of little more than a Church and a cluster of fishing cottages, so it was not until June 1864 that the line opened, with 6 trains per day (three on Sundays) through to London Victoria as an extension of the existing Lewes to Newhaven services.

It involved the construction of about 2½ miles of new trackbed, stations at Bishopstone Halt (at Tide Mills) and Seaford and one bridge north of  the Buckle. Tide Mills station was built mainly for the convenience of the residents of the hamlet, as the village of Bishopstone was less well populated and further away.  

The line was originally single track was doubled in 1904 but was later to become single again in 1975.  It was electrified in 1935. From the junction at Newhaven Wharf station the course of the line was straightforward with no major hills to negotiate, no tunnelling and only one bridge over the road at the Buckle – though a considerable cuting had to be excavated through Hawth Hill.

The Mill business realised the benefits of the railway and a siding was constructed to the mill, running down much of Mill Drove like a tramway. The tracks were not lifted until 1922, well after the mill had stopped operating, at which point the station reduced in status to a halt. Even that finally closed in 1938, though it had a brief reopening from Easter 1939, closing finally again in 1942. One platform edge is still in existence, though. The halt was replaced by a new station further east on the slopes of Hawth Hill. 

Continue north, crossing the level crossing (remembering this is a well-used track and needs you to look and listen for oncoming trains).  Continue to the main road and the car park.

The old station, double lines, electrified
Map showing the tramway through the hamlet