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William Allen’s gift to Haywards Heath Haywards Heath owes an immense debt to the heart for social renewal possessed by William Allen (1770-1843) who founded our America estate. London based Allen was a man of many parts, a scientist and pharmacist, educationalist and prison reformer, pacifist and slavery abolitionist. Lindfield drew his attention as a place to try out a social experiment in schooling and agriculture. He set up an industrial school for boys and girls in what is now Pelham Cottages and established a rural colony for agricultural workers off Gravelye Lane. In the 1820s the word ‘colony’ had association with ‘America’ and Allen’s project is kept in our memory by the street names off Bentswood’s America Lane in Haywards Heath.
The philanthropist William Allen and his work that impacted Lindfield and Bentswood is commemorated on one of the 77 panels of the tapestry illustrating the history of Quakerism from the 17th century to the present day. The Tapestry tours the world fr…