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Rottingdean Preservation Society


East : Rottingdean Preservation Society

Who are We?
We were founded originally in 1937 as the Ratepayers Association and Preservation Society, but became a charity in 1960 with the object of preserving and improving the village, its amenities and rural surroundings.

What have we done?
RPS and its predecessors have played a pivotal role in Rottingdean life over the last century. In the 1960s we took over the responsibility for the Windmill, which had fallen into disrepair, and restored it. In 1983, we purchased the Kipling Gardens, threatened by development, and in 1993 leased the Museum at The Grange and prevented its sale by Brighton Council. All these initiatives have changed the face of the village and contribute to its attraction as a tourist destination.

What do we do now?
Our current activities continue to promote village life by maintaining the Windmill and opening it to the public, working with BHCC to improve the facilities in the Kipling Gardens, and encourage a range of Events and Exhibitions at The Grange.

How can you help?
All our activities are only possible by the generous help of volunteers, and if you would like to help, please contact us. You may be interested to give a few hours to Steward at The Grange Museum and Gallery, or to help in the Grange Garden, or have an interest in The Windmill. Do contact us to find out more, and join as a member to support our activities!

To apply for membership with the Rottingdean Preservation Society please click on the link below to print and complete the form. Each year our members are invited to our Spring meeting where we have a guest speaker and enjoy a glass of wine.

Membership Application 2015

Any membership enquiries can be emailed to rpsmemsec@gmail.com

The Rules of the Society were amended and simplified in 2012, and after approval at the Annual General meeting were accepted by the Charity Commission. They set out the Objectives and Organisational Structure of the Society, and can only be amended by approval of the members at the AGM. The full text is available below.

RPS Rules Final 2013

Rottingdean Windmill
It is believed that this Smock Mill was erected on Beacon Hill in 1802 as the carved initials TB, 1802, standing for Thomas Beard, the owner, are to be seen on one of the original internal timbers. Further evidence of the date comes from the Sussex Weekly Advertiser of the 7th June 1802, which states that a human skeleton was discovered by workmen digging for the foundations of the windmill.

At the beginning of the Millennium it was evident that the strong south westerly winds had taken their toll on the sweeps and stocks and they were in need of replacement. The Rottingdean Preservation Society made a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund and received a grant for £41,800 towards the work on this Grade 2 listed landmark.

In acknowledgement of the Heritage Lottery Fund support the Windmill is open to the public on special days.

For more information about the windmill, please call the Grange on 01273 301004.

The Grange
The Grange is a Georgian house, originally built as a vicarage. It was later extended by the Rev Dr Thomas Redman Hooker, the much loved vicar of St Margaret’s Church from 1792 – 1838. It is possible that an underground tunnel ran from The Grange to the beach for Dr Hooker’s sideline as a smugglers’ “lookout” man! More respectably, he established a well-known school for boys that attracted the sons of many wealthy and distinguished families. His effigy and plaque are on the wall in nearby St Margaret’s Church.

Today as well as the Public Library, The Grange houses a Museum, an Art Gallery, a Tourist Office and, in the summer months, a Tea Garden.

Grange Gallery
Regular exhibitions are held at the Grange Art Gallery throughout the year. Rottingdean Windmill is open on the third Sunday of the month during the summer months.

If you would like to book the Art Gallery for your own personal exhibition please us.

The Kipling Gardens
The Gardens are a haven of peace and tranquillity where you can sit and enjoy the sun, read and chat, protected from the bustle and noise of traffic by the old flint walls. Children can play safely on the clean lawns for this is the one part of the village where dogs, ball games and cycling are not permitted.

For several years the Kipling Gardens have held the prestigious Green Flag awarded for the best parks and green spaces in England and Wales. The 2010 Report states that, “The standard of horticultural excellence within the garden provides a unique visitor experience.” It goes on to suggest that the Council should, “Consider applying for national, European and international awards for this unique garden.” The judges have particularly praised immaculate state of Kipling Gardens, which are maintained by our very talented and dedicated gardener.

Opening Times: The Gardens are open to the public seven days a week and close at dusk. Entry is free and there is a ramped path for wheelchairs.

Tours of the Gardens are held during the Brighton Festival and can also be organised by special arrangement. A guide to the Gardens can be purchased in the Grange Gallery for 50p.

For further information please call The Grange which is the Headquarters of Rottingdean Preservation Society on 01273 301004.

Rottingdean Preservation Society
who are we?
what have we done?
what do we do now?
how can you help?
rottingdean windmill
the grange
the grange gallery
kipling gardens

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We were founded originally in 1937 as the Ratepayers Association and Preservation Society, but became a charity in 1960 with the object of preserving and improving the village, its amenities and rural surroundings