One of the oldest, most established industries in Burgess Hill, Keymer Brick & Tile Company evolved from the former Ditchling Potteries, a collection of various works including Dunstalls Farm owned by John Billinghurst, John Palmer and John Pomfrey - a renowned brick maker in Keymer in 1588.
When the Ditchling Common site was sold, having exhausted its supply of clay, production was moved to Nye Road over a period of 80 years between 1860 and 1940. The current factory and clay pit are still situated here and cover an area of approximately 50 acres.
In the late 1800s, it's reported that the works were the largest in the South and employed over 300 people. At the turn of the century, it was famous for the manufacture of red terracotta ware - winning awards in London in 1862 and Philadelphia in 1876. This bespoke product was used throughout the British Isles and, largely due to its early success, was re-introduced by the modern-day Keymer in the 1990s.