Just north of Haywards Heath, Lindfield (the name means 'open land with lime trees') gained national notoriety when it had to withdraw from the Best Kept Village in all Sussex competition in order to give other villages a chance!!! A genuinely pretty village with several dozen fine old houses, some dating back to the 14th century when weekly markets and annual fairs were held here. Before the redrawing of the county boundaries, "Pevsner" described Lindfeld as having ' the finest village street in East Sussex'
The oldest house in the village is Church House, now known as The Tiger. Arguably the finest house is the Old Place, a timber-framed, late 16th century gabled building. Lindfield High Street runs about half a mile up a gentle slope. Passing various shops and pubs up to All Saints Church, which can be traced back to 1098, at the top of the village. The slender church spire is 116 feet high. Thatched Cottage which was King Henry VII's Hunting Lodge also served at some time as a "Poor House" and Old Place was the home of Charles Kempe the Victorian stained glass expert
Thatched cottage -King Henry VII’s Hunting Lodge (1390), beyond is”Old Place”
An original illustration of “Thatched Cottage” probably from the 18th century.
The main focus of Lindfield village life centres on the King Edward Hall, built opposite the pond in 1911. Activities as diverse as book and jumble sales through to the local amateur dramatics are held here. During the lst World War it was used as a military hospital and the 2nd World War saw the Canadian troops using it for recreational and educational purposes . Built to a design by W. Tower on land donated by W.A. Sturdy it was opened by Lt. Col. D. Samson on 11.1.11
Lindfield is one of the Sussex villages which still holds annual Bonfire Processions with the effigy of Guy Fawkes and lighted torches being paraded through the streets of the village prior to the lighting of the bonfire itself. Over 6000 people have attended in the past.
High Street, looking North
On April 20th 1912 in the early days of aircraft, H.M. Airship “Gamma” captained by Captain P..E. Broke-Smith (later Brigadier) landed on the Common from South Farnborough. It was an instructional flight and travelled by Guildford, Cranleigh, Horsham, Cuckfield and Haywards Heath before landing here its highest point being 1000 feet.
About 175 years ago a man from Lndfield, a brother of Mr. Thomas Wells, went to Australia and settled down in Sydney. His son built a house a few miles out of Sydney and called it “Lindfield” after his uncles old home. The name caught on and a large suburb of Sydney is now called Lindfield. In 1936 the place had grown so much that its church had to be enlarged,the vicar asked that a stone from our Lindfield should be sent to him. Accordingly the Rev. Sidney Swann looked him out one with angels on it. Empire House in the Strand, motored down to collect it and sent it out (free) by P. And O. To Sydney
The above material is drawn from the publication ”Lindfield Past and Present, by Miss Helena Hall of Lindfield and published in 1960 by Charles. Clarke (Haywards Heath)Limited,
Street Map of Lindfield, Sydney showing location of the bowling green and “All Saints” church
DID YOU KNOW?
This village is so famous that in Sydney, Australia, there is a suburb named after it, which has a bowling club also named after this one and the Anglican church is called All Saints. Both are shown on the street map below, the church being identified with a figure 1. There follows an extract from an Australian website about the town and its bowling club.
A well-established suburb on Sydney's North Shore, Lindfield takes its name from a small town in West Sussex which has long been known as 'the most pristine village in all England.' It is an apt name because the Sydney Lindfield is noted for its superb bushland reserves sweeping up a sandstone escarpment from Middle Harbour and fine homes set back from heavily, tree-lined streets. The eastern and northern boundaries of Lindfield are formed by a natural green belt which stretches from Koola Park, through the Middle Harbour-straddling Carigal National Park to Rosevill Chase and golf course.The Pacific Highway, the North Shore railway and a frequent bus service offer comfortable access to the large, diverse shopping centre at Chatswood, the elegant restaurants of North Sydney, the harbour and, beyond the bridge, the most exciting city in the land. The highway and the local station are also gateways to the north.
Search results published at foot of this page
The town of Hayward Heath is a product of railway mania which spread across Britain in Victorian times. At the beginning of the 19th Century, Haywards Heath was little more that a large tract of wasteland. The tranquility of the area was disturbed in 1837 when rowdy labourers from as far afield as Ireland descended en-mass. Upwards of 5000 men using horses and steam driven machinery gouged and hammered their way through the countryside building the London to Brighton railway. line.
Following a remarkable feat of engineering, involving dangerous tunnelling and the construction of the Balcombe Viaduct with its 11 million bricks, the railway opened to Haywards Heath on 12th July 1841 - and all the way to Brighton two months later.
Although firmly on the map, Haywards Heath had a population of less than 200 in the early 1850's, but rapid expansion was heralded by a significant event in 1859.
In that year the Sussex County Lunatic Asylum (St. Francis Hospital) opened and the asylum along with the railway became the area's biggest employers.
Victorian labourers cottages sprang up along Asylum Road (now Colwell Road), Gower Road and Sussex Road - the centre of Haywards Heath's brick making industry.
Lured by the "good life in the countryside" London workers left the grime of the city and headed for Haywards Heath - prompting writer Augustus Hare to describe the town as "A Colony of Cockney Villas" in 1894.
The Sergison family sold off parcels of land from their estate, and businessmen built or rented fine Victorian and Edwardian villas near the railway station along Muster Green, Oathall Road, Paddockhall Road and Lucastes Avenue.
By 1931, the population of Haywards Heath had risen to 7344 - intensifying the pressure for cheap affordable housing.
The towns first council house was built near New England Road in 1924 and Franklands Village followed in 1935.
The Franklands Estate was provided by the towns Rotary Club as a model village of houses and flats to be let at low rents.
Today Haywards Heath has a population of 23,000 and is proclaimed to be the Heart of Mid Sussex!.
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