LETTER: Fascinating past of our home town

Your letters
Your letters

Haywards Heath has some interesting history, of which many people know nothing.

The Roman road runs from the coast to London via Haywards Heath.

It was built during the first century; ships brought goods and troops from Rome returning with mainly corn and iron also iron ore. The road was a short cut to London from Roman harbour at Brighton.

Now under the sea.

The kings highway of 1723 from Cuckfield to Lewes, running behind Beechhurst park. This track is now looked after by the Friends of Ashenground and Bollnorn wood.

The battle of Muster Green 1642. During the civil war the King’s army was marching south to take back Lewes. They were met by the lord of the manor from Glyndebourne leading the army supporting Cromwell and won and chased the King’s men to Hurstpierpoint.

Why was the pub at Cuckfield called The Ship; when it is so far from the sea. Convicts were put on coaches to ship transports via Shoreham. The night stop was the Cuckfield inn, the guards and convicts stayed at the inn, the officers at The King’s Head. This connection gave the inn the name The Ship.

The railway was planned to be laid via Lindfield, in fact about a mile of track bed with embankments 15 feet high were dug and a brick bridge built. This can be seen in Copyhold Lane. The track goes from the main line and through the woods. Some land owners did not want the railway, so it was laid via Haywards Heath.

Cuckfield nuclear bunker, built by the Royal Observer Corps during the cold war, was in use until 1961. It is past the church by Newbury pond, now looked after by a group of young men and Cuckfield museum also the local council, it is open some days during the year.

You enter by a narrow well and a narrow iron ladder. It is 15 feet deep with beds, food for two men for eight days also equipment to measure bomb blast also phones to link with other bunkers.

Captain M BRETT

(British Airways Retired)

Church Road, Haywards Heath

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