We learn about the havoc created by a severe storm in August 1795 from The Times:
Last Thursday night we had here a very severe tempest; the lightning was more vivid and of longer continuance than we ever before remembered to have witnessed any. In the parish of Worthe, five sheep belonging to Mr Brooker were killed by it, a windmill at the Copthorne, in the above parish, in the occupation of Mr Locke, was shivered to pieces; the mill at Godstone, we hear, caught fire, and was burnt down; a chimney of Mr Chatfield's house of Crawley, was much damaged; and a house at Hanfield, occupied by Mr Bowel, was partly destroyed.
At Cuckfield a fire ball fell in the middle of the street, but luckily did no mischief.
20 August 1795, The Times.
Contributed by Malcolm Davison.