The former seed merchants, demolished in 1994, which was on the site of today's The Seed House.

Where The Seed House, Uckfield, gets its name

The Seed House in Bell Lane, Uckfield, has been in the news lately because of a planning application to change the building, adding more shop units, a veterinary service and first floor apartments.

If you wonder where the building got its name here’s a look back at its history shared by Mick Harker, chairman of Uckfield Preservation Society.

He says an old building on the site, demolished in 1994, was originally built as the Playhouse Theatre in 1938 by Durrant Bros, builders from Framfield Road.  It was last owned by a seed merchant.

Mr Harker says:

“Although its main claim to fame was that Sir Dirk Bogarde made his first professional appearance on its stage in 1939, the outbreak of war effectively closed the theatre down after only running for 18 months.

“By July 1939 it had been requisitioned as a reception centre for evacuees.  At the end of the war it first became a Granary Cooperative before being purchased by Picards and Co (Seed Merchants) who owned it almost until its demolition.

“It was they who ‘remodelled’ the original structure into a very square building with a flat roof (see picture above).

“The history of the Playhouse Theatre, along with building plans are covered in an article written by Sheila Richards in the Uckfield & District Preservation Society publication Hindsight, volume 2.

Read more about plans to change The Seed House in this Uckfield News story: Changes to The Seed House recommended for approval.

Thanks to Mick Harker for sharing the history – and the picture – of The Seed House with Uckfield News.


The Seed House today.

See also:

Observer: Closure of Uckfield public lavatories was harbinger of what’s to come

Sixth form courses at Uckfield College

20mph speed limit applies once more in Uckfield High Street

Find local organisations in our Uckfield Directory

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