A Brief History of Burgess Hill’s Pubs
by Fred Avery - May 2014


  • The King’s Head
    Originally known as the “Red Lion” dates back to about 1780. It was a stopping place on the London to Brighton road for mail and stage coaches and close to the annual “Sheep Fair” - a famous event held at least as early as 1342 until 1912. The façade was rebuilt in the 1930s. It closed on 3rd April 2012 and was finally demolished mid September 2013.
  • The Burgess Hill Inn (also known as the “Top House”)
    Originally known as the “Anchor” dates back to 1840, John Agate was the first landlord and was also a wheelwright with his own forge in Junction Road which was demolished many years ago. The front has been rebuilt and extended.
  • The Brewer’s Arms
    Originally known as the “Brickmakers Arms” about 1840, until a small brewery was established in the rear garden about 1870, and the name then changed. The façade was rebuilt in 1928 to give a more modern appearance.
  • The Potters Arms
    Established next to James “Meeds” potteries in 1856, was owned by the Brighton brewers “Hallett and Abbey”. A small boundary stone is still visible on a brick pier with the initials JM/H&A.
  • The Railway (Tavern)
    Dates back to about 1850 and established as a small hotel. Several meetings of local societies were held there, including many inaugural meetings. Several refurbishments have taken place and a side extension recently added.
  • The Cricketer’s
    Was established in the mid 1850s and probably named after the game of cricket played in the adjacent field, now a recreation ground. An amateur boxing club was founded there in 1938, associated with Sidney West to whom the former Boxing Hall was dedicated in 1956.
  • The Windmill
    Was established in the mid 1850s and named after St. John’s windmill, a post mill off Mill Road built in 1796 and dismantled in 1916. The brick roundhouse was demolished in the 1950s to make way for a housing development.
  • The Watermill
    Was established in the late 1850s and named after “Valebridge” water mill demolished several years ago, after a fire destroyed the floor and roof timbers. It serves the area known as “Worlds End” a name that dates back to 1840 and the railway “navvies”.
  • The Weald
    Was built to serve the ever expanding population on the western side of the town. Named after the Sussex Weald or “wooded area”. The town has over the years been extended to include a large industrial estate which adds to the popularity of this venue. Dame Anna Neagle visited on its opening day, 16th November 1962. The Weald closed on 15th February 2020 and the site (formerly owned by Greene King) is scheduled for new housing.
  • The Woolpack
    Was opened in 1988 and developed from an attractive interior of exposed timbers by incorporating some of the original 18th century “West End Farmhouse” into the project. Also preserved near the premises is a large duck pond which visitors find to be an added attraction.The pond was drained and prepared for new wildlife in January 2013.
  • The Sportsman
    Formally known as “The Magpie” and built in the early 1800s was much used by old time smugglers and a well known meeting place for huntsmen many years ago. This venue is set in the countryside on the outskirts of Burgess Hill with a large separate garden area.
  • The Oak Barn
    Cuckfield Road was constructed from a large barn and opened in 2001 with an interior of several exposed timbers. The barn at Bridge Hall Farm was extended to incorporate an attractive dining room with adjacent lounge. A driving range for golfers is nearby also two putting greens, and a 9 hole golf course all established in 1995.
  • The Block and Gasket
    Originally “Hamptons” a large furniture shop for over a century. In the late autumn of 1997 the “Hogshead” pub/restaurant had been converted from the old premises and opened in November. A decade after, the premises were refurbished and re-named “Jacob’s Post”, which relates to Jacob Harris, whose tragic deed was commemorated with a post of oak surmounted by an iron rooster dated 1734, once situated near to the “Royal Oak” public house on Ditchling Common. On the 4th March 2016 it was re-named the Block and Gasket.
  • The Junction Inn
    Built next to the railway crossing and branch junction to Lewes and Eastbourne c.1850, and was popular with railway workers and brick & tile makers from the works nearby. It was demolished after a fire destroyed the interior and roof, on the 11th May 2010.
  • The Acorn (A Premier Inn)
    Opened in the spring of 2010 on the Victoria Industrial Estate, and caters mainly for business people and those employed on the industrial estate.
  • The Six Gold Martlets (J.D.Wetherspoon)
    Converted from two adjacent retail shops in Church Walk costing £1.4 million and catering for shoppers and visitors to the town centre, opened on 29th April 2014.
  • The Royal George
    Built about 1854 ( and named after a ship that sank off Spithead in the Solent ) at the London Road / Royal George Road crossroads. for a short period it was renamed "Georgies", but soon went back to its original name. The building was demolished at the end of 2002, and a block of flats now occupy the site.


2004-16 Burgess Hill Museum
Designed by:- David Avery