Reigate

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Reigate
The Old Town Hall - geograph.org.uk - 1042854.jpg
Old Town Hall, Reigate
Surrey UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Reigate
Location within Surrey
Population21,820 (electoral definition) or 22,123 (Built-up Area) [1]
OS grid reference TQ2649
  London 19.1 mi (30.7 km)  N by NE
District
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town REIGATE
Postcode district RH2
Dialling code 01737
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Surrey
51°14′13″N0°12′22″W / 51.237°N 0.206°W / 51.237; -0.206 Coordinates: 51°14′13″N0°12′22″W / 51.237°N 0.206°W / 51.237; -0.206

Reigate ( /ˈrɡt/ RY-gate) is a town in Surrey, England, approximately 30 km (19 mi) south of central London. It is in the London commuter belt and one of four towns in the borough of Reigate and Banstead. It is sited at the foot of the North Downs and extends over part of the Greensand Ridge. Reigate has a medieval castle and has been a market town since the medieval period, when it also became a parliamentary borough.

Contents

Colley Hill, one mile (1.6 km) north-west of Reigate, is 722 feet (220 m) high. Reigate Hill, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) due east of Colley Hill, is 771 feet (235 m) high, and they both have panoramas along the North Downs Way.

Toponymy

In the Domesday Book of 1086, Reigate is recorded as Cherchefelle and in the 12th century as Crichefeld and Crechesfeld. The name is thought to mean "open space by the hill or barrow". [2] [3]

The name "Reigate" first appears in written sources in the 1190s. Similar forms are also recorded in the late medieval period, including Reigata in 1170, Regate in 1203, Raygate in 1235, Rigate in 1344 and Reighgate (1604). The name is thought to derive from the Old English rǣge meaning "roe deer" and the Middle English gate, which might indicate an enclosure gate through which deer were hunted. [4] It has been suggested that the "rei" element may have evolved from the Middle English ray, meaning a marshland or to a stream, [5] however this is considered unlikely as the Old English form of this word is ree rather than rey. [4] [note 1]

A "Thomas ate Chert" is recorded as living at Woodhatch in the early 14th century and the settlement is thought to have been named after his family. [6]

History

Early history

Roman tile kiln excavated in Doods Road Reigate-Roman-tile-kiln 2004 thumb2.jpg
Roman tile kiln excavated in Doods Road

The earliest evidence of human activity in the Reigate area is a triangular stone axe from the Paleolithic, which was found in Woodhatch in 1936. [8] Neolithic worked flints have been found on Colley Hill. [9] Finds from the Bronze Age include a gold penannular ring, dated to c.1150 – c.750 BCE, [10] and a barbed spearhead from Priory Park. [11] The eight barrows on Reigate Heath are thought to date from the same period, when the surrounding area may have been marshland. [12] [13]

During the Roman period, the Doods Road area was a centre for tile making. [14] An excavation in 2014 uncovered the remains of a 2nd- or 3rd-century kiln with several types of tile, identified as tegulae, imbrices and pedales. [7] A series of artefacts discovered to the south west of the town centre in 2011, suggest that there was a high-status villa in the area. Coins from the 1st and 2nd centuries, including from the reigns of Vespasian (69-79), Hadrian (117–138), Severus Alexander (222–235) and Arcadius (383-408), indicate that there was Roman activity in the local area throughout the duration of the occupation of Britain. [15]

Medieval history

Reigate was in the Reigate hundred, an Anglo-Saxon administrative division. Reigate appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Cherchefelle and was held by William the Conqueror as successor to King Harold's widow Editha. Its Domesday assets were: 34 hides, 2 mills worth 11s 10d, 29 ploughs, 12 acres (49,000 m2) of meadow, pannage and herbage worth 183 hogs. It rendered £40 per year to its feudal system overlords. [16]

Modern recreation of Reigate Castle Park Reigate 02.JPG
Modern recreation of Reigate Castle

The earlier site of the town was, at least in part, in what is now the Church Street area. Part of the site was excavated in the 1990s, and this revealed that the settlement moved during the earlier part of the 12th century when the present town was formed. William I granted the land around Reigate to one of his supporters, William de Warenne, who was created Earl of Surrey in 1088. It is believed that his son, William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, ordered that Reigate Castle be built, although the de Warennes had their southern base at Lewes, Sussex, as well as castles in Yorkshire and Normandy. Around 1150 the Earl de Warenne laid out a new town below the castle. This town forms the basis of modern-day Reigate. Little is known of the castle, which has never been excavated on any great scale. Local legend says [17] that prior to the signing of the Magna Carta, the rebellious barons met to hammer out the details of the document in the extensive [18] caves beneath the castle. The story however has no truth to it. The castle later fell into decay and the remains were demolished at the end of the 17th century, though the grounds remain as a public garden, and the caves are occasionally opened for tours. [19]

The medieval town is centred on a north–south road of some antiquity as it incorporates the pre-Conquest road pattern. The story of the Pilgrim's Way passing through Reigate is a myth, although in the 13th century a chantry chapel dedicated to St Thomas was built in the town centre as there was never a church in the Borough (town). [20]

Areas of the town have been the subject of extensive archaeological investigation. Bell Street was certainly in existence by the middle of the 12th century and Mesolithic implements have been found here. [21] Much of High Street is of slightly later date, although there appear to have been buildings along its south side, near to the junction with Bell Street, by the 13th century at the latest. [21] The market place was originally around Slipshoe Street, at the junction of West Street, but infilled houses encroached on it and it had been moved to the east end of the High Street by the end of the 16th century. [22] Many of the finds from the excavations are held in the museum of the Holmesdale Natural History Club in Croydon Road.

Later history

Probably early in the 13th century Grade I listed Reigate Priory was founded for regular canons of the Order of St Augustine, although it was also a hospital under the canons. [23] After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1535 the estate was granted by Henry VIII to William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham, who soon converted the priory buildings into a residence. The Effingham branch of the Howard family, including the Earl of Nottingham (who as Lord High Admiral commanded the force which defeated the Spanish Armada), lived there until their heirs sold it to the wealthy London brewer, Sir John Parsons, in 1681. Remains of the former monastery buildings lie beneath the lawns to the south of the present mainly 18th-century house, which is now used as a school.

The town developed a large trade in oatmeal during the 17th century [24] but this had ceased by about 1720. There was a noted tannery at Linkfield Street which was expanded in the 19th century. It burnt down about 1930.

The White Hart pub as depicted in a book on the London-Brighton road from 1894. The White Hart Reigate.jpg
The White Hart pub as depicted in a book on the London–Brighton road from 1894.

The coming of the London and Brighton Railway in 1841 led to new buildings being built across the parish, resulting in a second town in the eastern fields around the railway station in an area that was previously uninhabited: this town at first had two names, one confusingly being Warwick Town, but since the early 20th century it has been called Redhill.

Reigate has two surviving windmills: a post mill on Reigate Heath and a tower mill on Wray Common. In the medieval period the parish had other windmills, about a dozen animal-powered mills for oatmeal and watermills on the southern parish boundary with the Mole and Redhill Brook. [25]

Administrative history

The non-corporate Borough of Reigate, covering roughly the town centre, was formed in 1295. It elected two MPs until the Reform Act of 1832 when it lost one. In 1863 the whole parish was formally incorporated as a borough with Thomas Dann as its first mayor. In 1867 Redhill gained its first of two vestry committees within the parish system that occupied the east of Reigate. [26] In 1868 Reigate borough was disenfranchised for corruption but representation was revived in the Redistribution of Seats Act in 1885. Reigate has been the term for the local MP's seat ever since. In 1974 the borough was merged with Banstead to the north.

National and local government

UK parliament

The town is in the parliamentary constituency of Reigate and has been represented at Westminster since May 1997 by Conservative Crispin Blunt. [27]

County council

Reigate has two of the 81 Surrey County Council representatives, elected every four years: [28]

ElectionMember [29]

Ward

2013Dr Zully Grant-DuffReigate
2013Barbara ThomsonEarlswood and Reigate South
Reigate Town Hall main public entrance Reigate~TownHall.jpg
Reigate Town Hall main public entrance

Borough council

Five councillors sit on Reigate and Banstead borough council, who operate a council-elected-in-thirds system, which results in voting for one local candidate in three out of every four years:

ElectionMember [29]

Ward

2010Adam de SaveReigate Central
2011Steve FarrerReigate Central
2011Christopher WhinneyReigate Central
2008Roger NewsteadReigate Hill
2010Lisa BruntReigate Hill

Twin towns

The borough is twinned with Brunoy (Île-de-France, France) and Eschweiler (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany). [30]

Geography

High Street, Reigate High Street, Reigate - geograph.org.uk - 592990.jpg
High Street, Reigate

The town centre is, save for the castle, focused on Bell Street, leading south, and a long High Street/West Street conservation area [31] with shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Between the streets is a Morrisons supermarket. The other central supermarket is an M&S. The swathe of land from the town southwards, including the adjacent town of Redhill, is sometimes grouped together as the Gatwick Diamond, M23 corridor or Crawley Urban Area across more than 15 miles (24 km) into West Sussex. These three largely synonymous areas are interspersed with Metropolitan Green Belt land and are used by planners to highlight connectivity to Gatwick Airport and in respect of two, the city of Brighton and Hove. [32]

Hamlets and neighbourhoods

In the winding lanes of the south-west of Reigate post town, towards the Mole Valley, are two distinct hamlets, Skimmington and Flanchford.

Skimmington

Skimmington Castle, a pub in Skimmington. Skimmington Castle, Reigate Heath - geograph.org.uk - 1707579.jpg
Skimmington Castle, a pub in Skimmington.

Skimmington is a small hamlet made up of Skimmington Cottages, Heathfield Farm and Nursery, and on the C-road, Flanchford Road, Reigate Heath Golf Club House and Course. The Skimmington Castle (the most historic building, Grade II-listed) pub is by the cottages. [33] It arguably includes most of Reigate Heath; its buildings are however predominantly south-east of Flanchford Road. Skimmington includes eight pre-historic tumuli (bowl barrows), two in one close group, [13] several within the golf club. It is well documented by rambling groups for its serenity, hills and woods – it lies on the Greensand Way 1 mile (1.6 km) along the due west path in the south of Reigate Park or Priory Park. [34]

Flanchford

Half of this hamlet is within the post town, being in the far south west of Reigate. It is connected by Flanchford Bridge to Little Flanchford, which is in Mole Valley, within the rural definition of Leigh which has its village centre 0.5 miles (0.80 km) south-west. [34]

Flanchford Mill, which has as its millpond a lake at the foot of the Wallace Brook, is a Grade II* listed building dating from 1768. [35]

South Park

This Reigate neighbourhood is south of the relatively central Priory Park (named after the town's repurposed Priory), west of Meadvale and north and north-west of Woodhatch.

Its proximity to Reigate and to the out-of-town shopping parade of Woodhatch means that South Park consists of residential and recreational green spaces. The main amenities squarely within it are South Park Sports Association and an independent church. [36] [37]

Woodhatch

Woodhatch is the southern suburb of Reigate with 3 parades of shops. Western Parade is adjacent to the London to Brighton road, which is the only road towards the south from Reigate excluding the motorway network. This parade of shops contains a Co-Op, a jewellers, a bakery, a butchers and an Indian Restaurant among other shops. Opposite these shops there is another parade of shops including an Off-licence, a cafe, a fish and chip shop, a petrol station and a newsagents. A vape shop has also recently opened on the parade of shops. [38] Spike Milligan lived in Orchard Way here between fighting as a young man in World War II. [39] There is a 3rd parade of shops known as Trehaven Parade which includes a laundrette, another co-op and a kebab shop.

The suburb centres around the triangular shaped Woodhatch Park which has a children's playground, football facilities, a gazebo, a seating area surrounded by plants and open grass for dog walkers.

Woodhatch is almost half of one of the wards, South Park and Woodhatch which has a population on 7,145. [40]

Woodhatch contains 2 schools. Reigate School (formally Woodhatch School) and Dover's Green Infant School. Sandcross Primary School is located in nearby South Park.

Neighbouring settlements

Economy

Willis Towers Watson office with statuary and cedar tree Watson Wyatt offices and Margot Fonteyn statue - geograph.org.uk - 630775.jpg
Willis Towers Watson office with statuary and cedar tree

At one time the airline Air Europe had its head office in Europe House in Reigate. [41] Redland plc the FTSE 100 building materials company was headquartered in Reigate before its acquisition by Lafarge. The insurance company Esure is in the former Redland headquarters, and the Redland brick sculpture remains in front of the building.

Canon UK had their headquarters on the southern outskirts of Reigate. [42] The building, opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2000, has won numerous design and 'green' awards. [42] [43]

The European headquarters of Kimberly-Clark are on London Road in the town, just south of Reigate railway station. [44] Further along London Road towards the town centre can be found the former European headquarters of Willis Towers Watson, prior to the merger with Willis where the global and British headquarters relocated to Lime Street in London [45] in front of which is a life-size bronze of Margot Fonteyn and a huge picturesque cedar tree.

Reigate is home to Pilgrim Brewery, which moved to its West Street address in 1984. [46] It was the first new brewery to be established in Surrey for over a century and whose beers are brewed using the local water.[ citation needed ]

Culture and community

Priory Pond. Priory Pond - geograph.org.uk - 1326637.jpg
Priory Pond.

Priory Park adjoins Reigate Priory School directly south of the High Street and west of Bell Street. It has a recreation area for smaller children as well as football fields, tennis courts, a skatepark, woodland and large Priory Pond, draining over a small weir. The café (in the 'Pistachios In The Park' chain) is contained in a building named the Pavilion, which also houses the park office and bulletin boards.

Representations

Reigate is the setting for the Sherlock Holmes short story The Adventure of the Reigate Squire (also known as The Adventure of the Reigate Squires and The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle). It is one of 12 stories featured in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Transport

Reigate is served by Reigate railway station. There are direct trains to London Victoria at 30-minute intervals. Trains also run to Gatwick Airport, Reading, and Redhill. Trains to London are run by the Southern Railway company and those to Gatwick Airport and Reading by Great Western Railway.

Reigate is a few minutes from Junction 8 of the London orbital M25 motorway. The town's one-way system includes parts of the A25 and the A217.

Reigate is linked to Redhill by Metrobus. Other bus routes also link the town to other areas in and around Redhill and Reigate. [47]

Education

Located in Priory Park in the town centre, Reigate Priory School serves the town's three remaining infant schools. It has the distinction in the primary sector of having a large proportion of male teaching staff. [48] Wray Common Primary School is the remaining primary school, situated on the north-eastern side of the town.

In the independent sector, Reigate St Mary's School is the prep school for Reigate Grammar School.

Secondary schools

The town is home to one of Surrey's sixth form colleges - Reigate College - which is fed from The Warwick School in Redhill, Oakwood School, Horley, The Beacon School in Banstead and Reigate School. Students also apply from schools as far away as Croydon and Crawley. The other state secondary school in the town is The Royal Alexandra and Albert School which is a voluntary aided school with a sixth form. Dunottar School and Reigate Grammar School are the two co-educational independent schools in the town.

Other schools

Reigate Valley College at Sidlow just south of the town is a former pupil referral unit that educates pupils that have had behavioral issues in mainstream schools. [49] There are two special schools in the town catering for students with special educational needs, Brooklands School on Wray Park Road and Moon Hall College at Flanchford Bridge near Leigh.

Places of worship

Reigate has several churches. St Mary's Parish Church (Anglican) is in Chart Lane east of the town centre with its notably old chapel of ease St Cross in the windmill on Reigate Heath (see 'Flanchford' below). [50] Reigate Methodist Church is in the town centre. [51] Reigate Baptist Church, [52] Reigate Park URC, [53] Sandcross Church, and Reigate and Redhill Community Church [54] are further out. The Holy Family Catholic Church is the only Roman Catholic Church in Reigate. [55] The Religious Society of Friends have a meeting house on Reigate Road (Thomas Moore House) and St Philips Church on Nutley Lane.

Sport and leisure

The town has facilities for sports:

A local council leisure-centre is on the border with Redhill. [60] A number of private gyms/studios exist, one of which is not in the town centre.

Three golf courses are within the town's boundaries. One of these covers the east of the village of Gatton.

Notable people

See also

Notes

  1. The name "Wray Common" is thought to derive from the Old English (at)theree meaning "(at) the stream". [6]

Related Research Articles

Reigate and Banstead Place in England

Reigate and Banstead is a local government district with borough status in east Surrey, England. It includes the towns of Reigate, Redhill, Horley and Banstead. The borough borders the Borough of Crawley to the south, the Borough of Epsom and Ewell and District of Mole Valley to the west, Tandridge District to the east and the London Boroughs of Sutton and Croydon to the north.

Redhill, Surrey Human settlement in England

Redhill is a town in the borough of Reigate and Banstead within the county of Surrey, England. The town, which adjoins the town of Reigate to the west, is due south of Croydon in Greater London, and is part of the London commuter belt. The town is also the post town, entertainment and commercial area of three adjoining communities: Merstham, Earlswood and Whitebushes, as well as of two small rural villages to the east in the Tandridge District, Bletchingley and Nutfield.

Tadworth Human settlement in England

Tadworth is a large suburban village in Surrey, England in the south-east of the Epsom Downs, part of the North Downs. It forms part of the Borough of Reigate and Banstead. At the 2011 census, Tadworth had a population of 7,123

Horley Human settlement in England

Horley is a town in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England south of the towns of Reigate and Redhill. The county border with West Sussex is to the south with Crawley and Gatwick Airport close to the town. With fast links by train throughout the day to London from Horley railway station, it qualifies as a commuter town and has a significant economy of its own, including business parks and a relatively long high street.

Merstham Human settlement in England

Merstham is a town in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England. It is north of Redhill and is contiguous with it. Part of the North Downs Way runs along the northern boundary of the town. Merstham has community associations, an early medieval church and a football club.

Reigate (UK Parliament constituency)

Reigate is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 1997 by Crispin Blunt of the Conservative Party.

Salfords Human settlement in England

SalfordsSAL-fudz) is a village in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England. It lies approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Redhill on the A23 London to Brighton road. The village is within the civil parish of Salfords and Sidlow which covers a population of 3,069, and has a parish council.

Banstead Human settlement in England

Banstead is a town bordering Greater London in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England. It is 2.5 miles (4 km) south of Sutton, 5 miles (8 km) south-west of Croydon, 7.5 miles (12 km) south-east of Kingston-upon-Thames, and 13.3 miles (21 km) south of Central London.

Earlswood Human settlement in England

Earlswood is a suburb of Redhill in Surrey, England, which lies on the A23 between Redhill and Horley. Earlswood Common is a local nature reserve that separates the suburb from the southern outskirts of Reigate and has two lakes and picnic areas. Earlswood station is on the Brighton Main Line. To the west of the line are Royal Earlswood Park, the East Surrey Hospital and Whitebushes.

Meadvale Human settlement in England

Meadvale or less commonly Mead Vale is a southern residential suburb that straddles borders of Redhill and Reigate in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, and one of two which do so. The average elevation of the district is higher than the centres of each of the towns – Meadvale is bisected east-west by the Greensand Way at the top of a moderately low section of the Greensand Ridge. Its population, as broadly defined on its ward definition, is 3,090 spread over 64 hectares based upon the most recent national census.

Nork, Surrey Human settlement in England

Nork is a residential area of the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey and borders Greater London, England. Nork is separated from its post town Banstead only by the A217 dual carriageway, and the built-up area is also contiguous with similar parts of Tattenham Corner and Burgh Heath. A thin belt of more open land separates it from the communities to the north: Epsom, Ewell, Cheam and Belmont. There are two parades of shops, one called the Driftbridge and another at the north-eastern end of Nork Way, the street which runs centrally through the residential area. Nork lies on chalk near the top of the gentle north-facing slope of the North Downs, 175 m (575 ft) above sea level at its highest point.

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Reigate was a hundred in what is now Surrey, England. It was geographically consonant with the southern two thirds of Borough of Reigate and Banstead together with two parishes in Tandridge and fractions of former parishes in the London Borough of Croydon and Borough of Crawley, West Sussex. Accordingly, it included the medieval-established town of Reigate with its motte castle and land which become the towns of Redhill and Horley.

Gatton Park

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Old Town Hall, Reigate

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Bibliography

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