Inholmes Cants Lane

A Memory of Burgess Hill

Does anyone recall the mansion house called Inholmes. It was at the very top of Cants Lane when I was a youngster (I am now 50). It was owned by Keymer Brick and Tile Company as I grew up and then sadly demolished to make way for the present housing estate. I would appreciate any photographs or memories.

Comments & feedback

Tue Sep 23rd 2014, at 10:03 am

Diana Kemp commented:

I remember the house, my aunt and uncle were caretakers there after it was left empty - apart from one elderly gentleman who had a flat on the first floor. I particularly remember the large inner hall with a staircase which was massive and carved with a huge eagle as the newel post at the bottom - wonder what happened to that. In the old kitchen was the biggest iron range I have ever seen. In the cellar my cousins and I found wooden boxes full of old photographic plates of photos taken in Victorian times. No doubt they were destroyed but they would have been a priceless collection of records of that time. The gardens were maintained by my uncle but running parallel with the paddock at the back of the house were the remains of what had been a long and very substantial garden with water running right through it. The biggest Gunnera plants among the weeds and brambles. It was a beautiful house. We also found an old basket invalid chair and a more conventional one - great for having races. I have an oil painting of the head and shoulders of a young lady which came from the house. There is no indication as to who she was or who painted the portrait although the name and address of the firm who framed it is still on the back. The lady looked very haughty!

Sat May 9th 2015, at 10:56 pm

stehen.taylor996 commented:

Hello Diana, interesting to read your memories of Inholmes. I lived there as a child from 1955 to 1975 with my sister and parents. My father was director of the Brickworks and we were very fortunate to habit half of the first floor, the other half being occupied by the gentleman you mentioned, a Dr. Nairne, with the ground floor being used as offices for the works in the weekdays. We had the whole run of the place at the weekends though ! The first caretaker I remembered was a Mr. Ted Denyer. The gardens, about 16 acres I think, were far too big for one person to manage. I used to help with the lawn mowing and field cutting with an old pre war Fordson tractor and gangmowers after school. The old clock tower had a lovely old John Bull clock mechanism with weights which I used to maintain and wind every few days. You could hear the bell tolling from Burgess Hill Station when the wind was right. It was so sad when we had to move out after a magical time there, all for building more characterless houses; things don't change ! I rescued a few artefacts, but Dad was very honourable and wouldn't let us take any souvenirs as he quite rightly said they belonged to the company, although I suspect less honourable people just looted artefacts when the house suspiciously caught fire after we vacated.
Lovely memories, but a sad ending. I have some nice photos though, and a painting of the house we had commissioned

Mon Feb 29th 2016, at 9:47 pm

huggeec commented:

Hi, so lovely to hear both of your memories. As you lived in the mansion can you tell me what the building with the clock tower on directly behind the mansion was used for. I grew up on the estate where the mansion was and now live there again and have always been fascinated with the mansion and it's history. If you have any photos I would love to see them. Many thanks, Claire.

Tue Jul 19th 2016, at 11:22 pm

stephen.taylor996 commented:

Hello Claire, sorry for late posting but haven't looked at this site for a while. In answer to your question, the old building next to the clock tower was a school for a while in the early 20th century. After it ceased to be a school, my knowledge of it's continuing use is sketchy, but, in the 1950's this building was used as a client showroom for brick and tile displays (brick production ceasing in the late 1960's). Even then the clock tower adjacent was quite dilapidated, but we maintained the mechanism and wound up the weights every week to keep the single bell chiming. There was an Apple Store running the length of the old school building loft which used to store apples from the mansion orchards to the south. There was also a long double motor car garage adjacent, and some potting sheds and stores. Will keep a better eye on this site in case you have any further questions !

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