Haywards Heath VIII (walks)

  Abbots Leigh house (1892) built by an aide of Queen Victoria recalls a village near Bristol and a hymn tune composed there in 1942 by villager Cyril Taylor for ‘Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken‘ to replace use of the German national anthem. It is a hidden treasure of Haywards Heath with a facade visible only from the footpath which circles the estate. That footpath descends from Lewes Road to the right of North Colwell Barn opposite the path up from Lyoth Lane via Cobbetts Mead. The woodland path past the Barn opens into a large well mown meadow. Follow the path down through the fields as it curves round Abbots Leigh revealed in all its splendour to viewers on the path in the bottom field. After enjoying the view enter the wood and continue through to enter Slugwash Lane opposite Cottage of Content. Turn left to walk up Slugwash Lane to Lewes Road. Turn left again to walk along the verge before crossing the road into Snowdrop Lane then left back down to Lyoth Lane. At the bottom of


Whilst the purpose of this blog is to celebrate and engage people online with the life and history of Haywards Heath and its surrounds the author has no commercial interest. In broadcasting previous work to that of his own his aim is to celebrate that work whilst drawing out corrections to the town’s history from those more informed than himself.  Since October 2018 the author has published six collections of blog posts, pictures with 100-150 word captions, roughly one post a week on Instagram, Twitter and the following Facebook Groups: Haywards Heath Gossip, NEW Haywards Heath Gossip, Memories of Haywards Heath, Haywards Heath in days gone by and Bentswood Community Partnership (BCPHH). The author serves on BCPHH and on Haywards Heath Town Team. The latter team has been instrumental in raising the profile of town history linked to a forthcoming September 2020 celebration though the views expressed on this blog are his alone. The author recognises the substantive inspiration t

Haywards Heath VII (churches)

Sussex Road Methodist Church Wyn Ford’s ‘The Church in Sussex Road’ (1994) chronicles the rise and fall of the Primitive Methodist congregation started in 1876. With an emphasis away from set services upon Holy Spirit inspired free prayer Primitive Methodism appealed to ‘the lowly working classes of English society’ (Ford). It became a school of oratory for many leaders in the Trades Union movement. Though Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists formally united in 1932 Sussex Road continued separately until 1991 when its congregation joined Perrymount Road Methodists handing their building over to the B aptist Church. Wyn Ford’s picture is from 1904. Holy Trinity, Cuckfield The Church in Haywards Heath was first planted from Cuckfield having been raised up there by the Sussex mission of St Wilfrid in the 7th century. Lewes Priory provided priests from the 11th century overseeing the construction of the present building over three centuries. The photograph from Davi

Haywards Heath VI (pubs)

Asylum Arms (demolished) The Asylum Arms, Haywards Heath appeared in 1857 among 20 temporary buildings erected to serve the 200 workers building the so-called Sussex Lunatic Asylum. The Arms run by James Ashdown offered ‘very neat and commodious liquor’ according to the Brighton Examiner of 2 June 1857. The pub was situated on the Asylum Road (now Colwell Road) junction with Sussex Road (now Wivelsfield Road). Demolished before 1874 Asylum Arms’ coming and going is reminder of how the elongated shape of Haywards Heath derives from the construction of the County Hospital to its south with its large population, staff, pastoral and commercial significance. Austens Hotel (demolished) Building a railway and a town was thirsty work. A number of pubs and hotels came in their wake starting with the Liverpool Arms for workers on one side of the railway facing the Station Inn across the rails used by employers. This 1908 picture shows Austens Hotel on Clair Road, now demolished, wh