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, which provided hospitality for tee-total workers, excluding sale or use of alcohol. It was built at the height of the 19th century Temperance movement supported by the churches to encourage abstinence from alcohol. Tee-total is a word repeating the first letter to emphasise total abstinence from intoxicating liquor.
Beech Hurst – Harvester
Beech Hurst with its fabulous grounds overlooking the South Downs is the pride of Haywards Heath with its railway and Harvester pub restaurant. The original house, demolished in the 1950s, was inhabited by Mr W J Yapp who gifted the estate to the town. In the 1914-18 war it was a hospital annexe for military patients. The miniature railway has a half mile track with views over the Downs and features two tunnels, steaming bays where the engines are prepared and an automatic colour signalling system. At £1 a head it remains a good deal!
The arms of John Bent MP on the wall mark the re-naming in 1827 of Lindfield’s 17th century White Horse ale house. Bent, also recalled in Hayward Heath’s Bentswood, grew rich through a plantation in what is now Guyana, South America and built Oathall as his home. Bent Arms hosted King Edward VII for lunch on an official visit to Lindfield. It served rural pursuits like hunting as shown in the picture. Today visitors are intrigued by the large stuffed bear who has a permanent place in the pub’s front room and is popular for shared ‘selfies’.
In 1874 an eminent Harley Street doctor built Birch House close to the so-called County Lunatic Asylum completed on Birch Green to the south of Haywards Heath in1859. Dr Jowers extended his house in 1887 to include the turret wing and expand his surgery. In 1922 his widow sold the house to a Mrs Rogers from Lindfield who created Birch Hotel as a coaching inn for wealthy travellers between London and the South coast, especially Brighton. Over the years many private and small group hoteliers have owned Birch, with the new wing being added by Wimpole hotels in 1987.
Haywards Heath expanded from Cuckfield after the railway arrived in 1841. The Burrell Arms (1871) is named to recall the land owning family based at Cuckfield Ockenden Manor. The Arms on the pub wall are a copy of Gerald Burrell’s (d1599) in Cuckfield Church with a triumphant arm waving a laurel branch. The opening of the Burrell Arms followed the triumph of the London-Brighton railway’s construction making Haywards Heath the heart of Sussex. Today’s drinkers en route from the station succeed generations of farm workers who sought refreshment after attending the adjacent cattle market that closed in 1989.
Duck (now Pets Corner)
Fox & Hounds
The Heath pub was first called The Triangle after the sharp road turn it stands on. It was built in the 1870s alongside the dense residential development at the Triangle hosting workers to serve the Asylum and extensive building work as Haywards Heath grew apace. The picture of the bunting decorated Heath was taken Empire Day, 24th May 1937 which was made occasion for the coronation of King George VI. The pub’s historic following is captured in the picture of a coach outing to Kemp Town Brewery around 1937 featuring then landlord Frank Knight to the extreme right of the picture.
Liverpool Hotel (demolished)
Most colourful of all pubs in Haywards Heath’s living memory, the Liverpool was built 1851 on the site of the ‘Hit or Miss’ beer shop frequented by railway labourers. Its dedication recalls workers’ Irish origin. Liverpool’s original clientele contrasted with that of the Station Inn across the railway frequented by the new town’s elite. 1960s landlord and former lorry driver Jimmy Munt’s ‘ain’t you got no homes to go to’ call at closing time lives in the memory of couples who courted there. Haywards Heath College brought some illegal trade in later years but the pub’s closure was widely lamented.
Although a Red Lion alehouse is on the map lower down Lindfield High Street around 1747 earliest mention at the pub’s current location is 1804. Until the railway arrived The Red Lion was a halt for London-Brighton coaches. An 1869 advertisement for auction sale of the pub mentions ‘large gardens and stable yard… seven good bedrooms, bath room, water-closet, two sitting rooms, capital bar, bar parlour, tap-room, two kitchens, dairy and large cellars… skittle alley… piggeries and stabling for eight horses’. Lindfield Sauce, similar to Worcester Sauce, was once made here.
Rose & Crown
Sergison Arms (now Miller & Carter Steakhouse)
Haywards Heath grew from an ancient cross roads to become the heart of Sussex. The building on that cross roads by Muster Green was Hen Davis House on the 1638 Map. In 1832 this became the town’s first pub, ‘The Dolphin’, later ‘Sergison Arms’ named after Charles Sergison who bought Cuckfield Park in 1691 after a naval career. The three dolphins on the family coat of arms give rise to Haywards Heath’s ‘Dolphin’ associations. The local fox hunt once met outside the pub which is now known as Miller & Carter Steakhouse.
Jesse Attree is the first recorded licensee (1839) of the Ship Inn in Whitemans Green, Cuckfield. The Ship was so-called since having secure rooms it was a stopping point for convicts being deported to Australia. The last convict ship left Britain in 1867. About 164,000 convicts were transported to the Australian colonies between 1788 and 1868 on board 806 ships. In 2012 the pub was voted most popular by the Sussex-wide bus to the pub group. The conversion of the popular village pub to a Co-op store in 2014 was contested by a ‘booze-in’ of villagers in the shop which gained nationwide publicity.
The railway arrived by agreement at a distance from Lindfield bringing with it workers to build what became Haywards Heath. Canny management of the Stand Up, opened in the 1840s, provided no chairs to assist turnover and deter workers from lingering over their ale, hence the name. Ale was provided until 1906 by Edward Durrant’s Brewery behind the pub. Beer cost 2d (1p) per quart up to 8d (3p) for best bitter. From 1906 to 1936 the pub was tied to Croydon’s Page & Overtons brewery. The name changed to Linden Tree and after being extended in the 2000s reverted to Stand Up.
The horse and cart approaching The Star pub is in contrast to today’s gyratory motor traffic. From the mid-1860s for over 20 years Joshua Jones sold beer here on the Broadway and ran the small shop shown in the photograph at the Muster Green end later used as a coach house for the hotel’s ‘traps’. Over that period St Wilfrid’s school and church were built opposite. With comings and goings across the road The Star held prominence at the busy town centre which shifted to South Road when the school moved to Eastern Road in 1951.
Sussex Hotel (demolished)
Tiger (former pub)
Church House since 1916 The Tiger is part of Lindfield’s colourful history. It is allegedly named after a ship owned by the Michelbourne family who lived before 1500 in the original house and gave the pub its original name ‘Michelbourne Arms’. Another shipping link is alleged to be hosting brandy for local smugglers in its capacious cellars. A statistic from 1782 mentions 300 pack horses passing through Lindfield High Street all loaded with contraband! In 1793 stables were built to serve the less controversial trade of London to Brighton coaches which was superseded by the arrival of the railway in 1841.
The Wheatsheaf was built as part of the 19th century expansion east of Cuckfield towards Haywards Heath caused by the railway’s arrival. The pub’s title fits in with its location near the Scrase stream and Blunts Wood footpath. The 1930s advertisement recalls the Hotel’s then patron Bill Bosley who was famous as bandmaster across the south of England and master of Haywards Heath band (1922-1986) from 1929. Another draw to the Wheatsheaf were the tea gardens. These drew trade from equidistant Cuckfield and Haywards Heath, not least folk on a stroll along the country path between the two.
Before Haywards Heath was built you went from London to Brighton by carriage and Cuckfield was a popular halt for changing horses with its many public houses. The White Hart Inn on the way out of Cuckfield has a short frontage so it can easily be missed with its heraldic symbol high above. The interior of the public bar retains the atmosphere of the original 17th century ale house, timber-framed before being re-fronted in 1881. The picture recalls an extraordinary pub visit in their tank by Canadians on placement in Cuckfield during World War Two.
White Horse (now Tamasha Restaurant)
Situated opposite the Pond, the White Horse was built in the middle of the 19th century replacing an old cottage. It was very much a locals drinking alehouse, and at the time of Lindfield Fairs became the favourite with the travelling showmen, shepherds and tinkers. In the 1880s the landlord and proprietor, John Mason, not only ran the pub but also operated another business from its yard selling coal, coke and fire wood, pea boughs, bean sticks, thatching rods and was also a dealer in corn, hay and straw. In recent decades the White Horse changed with the times before being converted into the Tamasha Indian Restaurant.
The Witch Inn was renamed so as late as 1959. Previously it was called the Bricklayers Arms linked to the building of the new town of Haywards Heath and the need of the builders for refreshment. Though Inn sign notes ‘established 1845’ an 18th century farmstead known as Wigsell’s Watering stood where it stands. It was purchased by the owners of Bear Brewery in Lewes. After 1841 Station Road, now Sunte Avenue, got built up. Being so close to the railway station the pub became a popular destination in the mid-1880s for works outings from as far afield as London and Brighton.