Thanks to Camilla from the Save The Dyke Group, we have a timeline of the early days of The Dyke (or as it was originally, The Windmill Inn). Also see our blog post on The Windmill Inn

1861: James Trusler (and family), owner of Preston Mill (otherwise known as Streeter’s Mill or the Black Mill), resides in one of two mill cottages (‘adjacent’ to two occupied Mill Barns) as a Miller

1864: 1st application for a license. License application refers to the Windmill Inn Beer Shop. Application denied.

1865: 2nd application for a license. Applications refers to the site as having two distinct entrances, an extensive frontage of 54 feet with bar and bar parlour. The house stood in a very isolated position with there being no shelter within 4 or 5 miles one way and it was fully half a mile from the town. Applicant (James Trusler) referred to as a man of respectable standing, inasmuch as he had filled the offices of Overseer and Assessor. Also says that the parish of Preston only had 4 or 5 houses. Application denied.

1866: (April) Inquest at the Windmill Inn – Singular and Sudden Death at Preston

1866: 3rd application for license. As written in the Brighton Gazette “Mr. Sharp in support of the application, pointing out at length the necessity of a license being granted, because accidents occasionally occurred on the Dyke Road, and when persons were brought in they had no means of supplying them with those kinds of restoratives which might tend to their recovery. Mr. Trusler had been actually obliged to give away spirits. (A laugh)”. Application denied.

1866: James Trusler buys Port Hall Mill

1868: (March) Inquest at the Windmill Inn – Determined Suicide Through Disappointed Love

1870: Pig Auction at the Windmill Inn, July 1st at 2 o’clock

1871: James Trusler (and family) resides in the Windmill Inn as a Bar Retailer

1874: James Trusler sells the Port Hall Mill to Charles Cutress

1879: Death of William Trusler of Abbeyland Farm Shermanbury, father of William Trusler the Inn-keeper of the Windmill Inn.

1881: James Trusler (and family) resides in the Windmill Inn as a Retired Inn-Keeper

1881: William Trusler (and family) resides in the Windmill Inn as a Publican (the Windmill Inn is likely to have been two buildings)

1882: James Trusler sells Preston Mill (or Trusler’s Mill as it became known) to Joseph Harris

1887: Port Hall Mill demolished

1888: Death of James Trusler

1890: Trusler’s Mill demolished

1891: William Trusler (and family) resides in the Windmill Inn as a Publican. The other entry on the 1891 census for the Windmill Inn has James Miller (and family) residing at the Windmill Inn as a Wine Worker and his son as a Shopman

1892: Windmill Inn put up for auction Monday December 12th. “Free Fully Licensed Freehold Premise with extensive plot of land at rear, the whole occupying an area of one acre. The property is situate on the main road leading from Brighton to the well known Devils Dyke and is admirably placed for doing a very extensive trade, more particularly as it enjoys a monopoly there being no other licensed house within a considerable radius”. Fully licensed? See below.

1892: Tamplins Brewery buy the Windmill Inn

1893: (August) Brewster Session (with representation from ladies from Brighton and Hove’s Women’s Temperance Society to diminish the number of licensed houses in the town!) provisional license granted for the house which is to be rebuilt in place of the Windmill Inn.

1893: (October) Plans drawn by architect Charles Buckman for the Windmill Hotel

1895: Dyke Road Hotel build complete

1901: William Trusler resides at the Dyke Road Hotel as a Licensed Victualler

1901: Henry Stanwix resides at 121 Kings Road as a Chemists Assistant

1905: Death of William Trusler, eldest son of the late William Trusler

1905: Henry Stanwix (and family) take over the running of the Dyke Road Hotel

1906: Birth notification of the wife of Henry Stanwix, a son.

1911: Henry Stanwix (and family) resides at the Dyke Road Hotel as a Hotel Keeper