Mid Sussex Steam Laundry


Throughout her long life the dowager Countess of Tankerville was engaged in charitable works.  Born Lady Olivia Montagu daughter of the 6th Duke of Manchester, she married the 6th Earl of Tankerville in 1850.

One charitable venture was the establishment of laundries to provide work and a home for women in difficult circumstances including unmarried mothers.  She opened a number of laundries across the country.

The Countess of Tankerville while living at The Welkin, Lindfield built such a laundry on land adjoining Gravelye Lane.

The laundry opened in 1902 and was run on charitable lines by a local committee.  It was taken over by the Salvation Army in 1912.  Their aim remained to provide help to women struggling to regain their character by means of honest labour.  The laundry home called ‘Quinta’ provided accommodation for thirty female workers.

The Salvation Army ended its connection with the laundry in 1922.

The laundry became a business and continued trading as the Mid Sussex Steam Laundry.

After WWII the business was taken over by Mr J Carter, a Quaker, who ran it until closure in 1972.

After closure the buildings were demolished and the land used for the Grey Alder and Kidbrook housing development.

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