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Haywards Heath: Sussex towns and villages

PUBLISHED: 10:42 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 18:15 27 June 2013

Haywards Heath

Haywards Heath

Archant

Haywards Heath is known as the heart of Mid Sussex

Taking stock

The name Hayward comes from the Old English meaning an official who protected hedged enclosures from wandering livestock. There is also a local legend that the name comes from a highwayman called Jack Hayward.

Civil rights

Haywards Heath is mentioned in English Civil War records. Early in December 1642 Sir Edward Ford, the High Sheriff of Sussex, advanced with Royalist troops towards Lewes in East Sussex from Chichester in West Sussex. He was intercepted and defeated in Haywards Heath by local Parliamentarians.

East to West

Haywards Heath was originally in East Sussex, but a change to the county boundary in 1974 brought it under the jurisdiction of West Sussex. It is now known as “the heart of Mid Sussex”.

Market value

There was once a huge cattle market in the town, Bannister’s Cattle Market was built in 1859, and was the 12th largest in UK at one point. This was closed to make way for a Sainsbury’s supermarket in 1989.

Go

Wakehurst Place

This is the National Trust’s most visited place. Wakehurst is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

01444 894066; www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wakehurst-place

Eat

Jeremys Restaurant

Approached via a cobbled courtyard this award-winning restaurant has a light and airy interior, with an expanse of outside terracing overlooking the Victorian walled garden

01444 441102; www.jeremysrestaurant.co.uk)

Drink

The Coach and Horses

With ale on tap from Harveys in Lewes, fresh fish from Seaford and lamb from the field opposite, this is one special pub

01825 740369; coachandhorses.co) (NB. not co.uk)

Sleep

The Hyde Granary

A 1,000 acre estate where roe deer roam. The granary stands alongside a coach house and clock tower, in the shadow of the main house

01444 401930; www.thehydegranary.com)

***

Notable neighbours: Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty, lived in New England Road. Actress Leslie Ash lives in the area

Getting there: Haywards Heath station is on a direct line to London. The A272 runs through the town, which joins the A23 to Brighton

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