Reigate

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Not to be confused with Ryegate. ‹See Tfd›

Coordinates: 51°13′48″N 0°11′17″W / 51.230°N 0.188°W / 51.230; -0.188

Reigate
The Old Town Hall - geograph.org.uk - 1042854.jpg
Reigate Town Hall
Reigate is located in Surrey
Reigate
Reigate
 Reigate shown within Surrey
Population 21,820 
OS grid reference TQ2649
    - London 19.1 mi (30.7 km)  N by NE
District Reigate and Banstead
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town REIGATE
Postcode district RH2
Dialling code 01737
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Reigate
List of places
UK
England
Surrey

Reigate /ˈrɡt/ is a historic town in Surrey, England, at the foot of the North Downs, and in the London commuter belt. It has a medieval castle and covers several mounds of a short section of the Greensand Ridge. Reigate is one of three towns in the borough of Reigate and Banstead. 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.[1] Reigate has been a market town since the medieval period, when it became a parliamentary borough.

Colley Hill, one mile (1.6 km) north-west of Reigate, is the sixth highest point in Surrey at 756 feet (230 m). Reigate Hill, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) due east of Colley Hill, is the seventh highest point in Surrey at 723 feet (220 m) — both have panoramas along the North Downs Way.

History[edit]

Kiln fire channel

There are neolithic flint mines on the ridge of the North Downs above Reigate. The Bronze Age barrows on Reigate Heath indicate ancient settlement in the area. A Bronze Age spearhead was recovered on Park Hill in Reigate Priory Park. In 2004, a Roman tile kiln dated from around AD 92 (pictured left) was recovered from the grounds of Rosehill in Doods Way, Reigate. Tiles on the Rosehill site were first discovered in the 1880s. The tiles would have been used for important buildings in the area. The Rosehill find is also the oldest recorded use of Reigate stone (ironstone of the Upper Greensand) for "ashlar [uniform blocks] masonry work".

The town lay within the Reigate hundred, an Anglo-Saxon administrative division. Reigate appears in Domesday Book in 1086 as Cherchefelle which appears to mean "the open space by the hill". (The name has nothing to do with the church and the element Cherche is a later corruption.) It 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.[2]

Castle

The earlier site was, at least in part, in what is now the Church Street area of Reigate, close to the church. Part of the site was excavated in the 1990s. It was shown 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[3] that prior to the signing of the Magna Carta, the rebellious barons met to hammer out the details of the document in the extensive[4] 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.[5]

The origin of the name Reigate is uncertain, but appears to derive from Roe-deer Gate, as the town was situated near to the entrance to the de Warenne's deer park.[3]

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 chapel to St Thomas was built in the town centre for the use of Canterbury pilgrims.[6]

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.[7] Much of the High Street appears to be slightly later although there appear to have been buildings along the south side of the Street near to the junction with Bell Street by the 13th century at the latest.[7] 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.[8] The results of much of this work have been published; many of the finds are held in the museum of the Holmesdale Natural History Club in Croydon Road.

Probably early in the 13th century Reigate Priory was founded for regular canons of the Order of St Augustine although it was strictly speaking the Hospital of the Crutched Friars - a suborder. 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, John Parsons in 1681. Remains of the former monastery buildings are known to 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 16th century[9] 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 coming of the Brighton railway in 1841 led to development across the parish, and saw a second town emerge in the eastern fields around the railway station in an area that was previously uninhabited: this town at first had two names but since the early 20th century, has been called Redhill.

Reigate has two 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.[10] 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.

Administrative history

The 1295-formed (non-corporate) Borough of Reigate (roughly the town centre of Reigate) elected two MPs until the Reform Act of 1832 when it lost one; it was disenfranchised in 1868 for corruption but revived in the reform of 1885 and Reigate has been the term for the local MP's seat ever since. In 1863, the whole parish was formally incorporated as a borough with Thomas Dann as its first Mayor. The urbanising by-and-large rural area of Banstead (on the widest part of the Downs) succeeded to this status on a merger with the Borough Reigate in 1974. Redhill gained its first of two vestries in the post-medieval to mid-19th century parish system occupying the east of Reigate (not distinct at the time from a civil parish) in 1867.[11]

Governance[edit]

Reigate has two of the 81 Surrey County Council representatives, elected every four years: [12]

Election Member[13]

Ward

2013 Dr Zully Grant-Duff Reigate
2013 Barbara Thomson Earlswood and Reigate South

5 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:

Election Member[13]

Ward

2010 Adam de Save Reigate Central
2011 Steve Farrer Reigate Central
2011 Christopher Whinney Reigate Central
2008 Roger Newstead Reigate Hill
2010 Lisa Brunt Reigate Hill

Reigate has an eponymous parliamentary constituency and is represented by Crispin Blunt of the Conservative Party.

Geography[edit]

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[14] with shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. Between the streets is a Morrisons supermarket. The other central supermarket is an M&S.

Hamlets and neighbourhoods of Reigate[edit]

Neighbourhoods of Reigate share very historic characteristics of the town itself, in particular, the loosely demarcated Reigate Hill to the north of the town, for which a sign exists going northbound on the A217 heading towards the M25 Reigate Hill junction; however, this is not the case on approaching from other directions, due in part to the undulating outskirts of the town.[15] Due to its history as a parish and mostly rural land use interspersed in its outskirts, by the London Orbital motorway, Gatton also is dealt with separately.

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

Skimmington[edit]

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.[16] 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,[17] 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.[18]

Flanchford[edit]

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.[18]

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.[19]

South Park[edit]

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.[20][21]

Woodhatch[edit]

Woodhatch is the southern suburb of Reigate with one main curved parade of shops leading away from each side of the pre-20th century route of the London to Brighton road, which is the only road towards the south from Reigate excluding the motorway network. Reigate School was formerly called Woodhatch School.[22] Spike Milligan lived in Orchard Way here between fighting as a young man in World War II.[23]

Woodhatch is almost half of one of the wards of the United Kingdom, South Park and Woodhatch which has a population on 7,145.[24]

Neighbouring settlements[edit]

Economy[edit]

Towers Watson HQ with statuary and cedar tree

At one time the airline Air Europe had its head office in Europe House in Reigate.[25] 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 have their headquarters on the southern outskirts of Reigate.[26] The building, opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2000, has won numerous design and 'green' awards.[26][27]

The European headquarters of Kimberly-Clark are on London Road in the town, just south of Reigate railway station.[28] Further along London Road towards the town centre can be found the European headquarters of Towers Watson,[29] in front of which is a life-size bronze of Margot Fonteyn and a huge picturesque cedar tree.

Reigate is also home to Pilgrim Brewery, which moved to its West Street address in 1984.[30] It was the first new brewery to be established in Surrey for over a century and is well known for the quality and variety of beers brewed using the local water.

Culture and community[edit]

Priory Pond.

The most popular park in Reigate is the Priory Park, adjoining 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. Priory Park also has a café set in a building named 'The Pavilion', which also houses bulletin boards for the people of Reigate.

Transport[edit]

Reigate is served by Reigate railway station. At peak times a few direct trains run to London Victoria and London Bridge at 40-minute intervals. Off-peak trains run to Gatwick Airport, Reading, Redhill and London Bridge. Trains to London are run by the Southern Railway company and those to Gatwick Airport and Reading by First Great Western.

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 the Metrobus routes 435 and 430. The 435 tends to go into Reigate whereas the 430 goes "away" from Reigate. Other bus routes also link the town to other areas in and around Redhill and Reigate, for example South Park.

Education[edit]

Primary schools[edit]

The town has had difficulty in recent years in providing sufficient primary school places to meet demand.[31] The authorities response has been to temporarily open a new academy - Limetree School - on the site of a previously closed infant school,[32] while planning to erect a purpose-built building to house the school near Merstham. In the Priory Park in the town centre, Reigate Priory School serves the towns three remaining infant schools. It has the distinction in the primary sector of having a large proportion of male teaching staff.[33] 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[edit]

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 in the town is The Royal Alexandra and Albert School, which is a voluntary aided school and has its own sixth form. Dunottar School and Reigate Grammar School are the two independent schools in the town, the former being a girls only school while the latter has a mixed intake.

Other schools[edit]

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.[34] 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[edit]

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).[35] Reigate Methodist Church is in the town centre.[36] Reigate Baptist Church,[37] Reigate Park URC,[38] Sandcross Church, and Reigate and Redhill Community Church[39] are further out. The Holy Family Catholic Church is the only Roman Catholic Church in Reigate.[40] The Religious Society of Friends have a meeting house on Reigate Road (Thomas Moore House).

Sport and leisure[edit]

The town has facilities for these mainstay amateur sports:

In gyms, fitness studios and pools, a local council-supported centre is on the border with Redhill.[45] There are also a number of private gyms/studios are active, 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 lightly populated (and on many analyses merged) village of Gatton.

Notable people[edit]

Notable pets[edit]

See also[edit]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/census-2001-key-statistics/urban-areas-in-england-and-wales/urban-areas-in-england-and-wales-ks01-usual-resident-population.xls
  2. ^ Brayley, Edward (1850). A topographical history of Surrey 4. London: G Willis. p. 218. OCLC 4601837. 
  3. ^ a b Reigate and Banstead Borough Council: A Brief History of Reigate
  4. ^ Old Reigate: A Pictorial History
  5. ^ "Reigate Caves". Wealden Cave & Mine Society. Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  6. ^ Wright, Christopher (1971). A Guide to the Pilgrims' Way. London: Constable. p. 134. ISBN 0-09-456240-7. 
  7. ^ a b English Heritage. SMR
  8. ^ Hooper . Reigate; its story through the ages
  9. ^ Greenwood,J. Turnpikes and the economy. 2008
  10. ^ Farries and Mason. Mills of Surrey
  11. ^ A Vision of Britain: First mention of Redhill, units and statistics University of Portsmouth and others
  12. ^ "List of County Councillors". Surrey County Council. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  13. ^ a b Reigate and Banstead councillors
  14. ^ "Conservation Area Map". Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  15. ^ Grid Reference Finder Elevation Tools compare parts of Reigate Hill to Wray Common, Doods Park Road and Underhill Park Road for example
  16. ^ English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1029061)". National Heritage List for England .
  17. ^ Bowl barrows on Reigate Heath:English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1008849)". National Heritage List for England .
    English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1008851)". National Heritage List for England .
    English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1008852)". National Heritage List for England .
    English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1008857)". National Heritage List for England .
    English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1008869)". National Heritage List for England .
    English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1008871)". National Heritage List for England .
    English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1008872)". National Heritage List for England .
  18. ^ a b Open Street Map
  19. ^ English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (1029111)". National Heritage List for England .
  20. ^ Sandcross.com Sandcross Lane Church, Reigate. Retrieved 2013-11-20
  21. ^ Status of Sandcross Lane Church Retrieved 2013-11-20
  22. ^ Reigate School
  23. ^ "Mussolini; His part in my downfall", Spike Milligan (1980) Penguin Books[page needed]
  24. ^ Census data
  25. ^ "World Airline Directory". Flight International. 26 July 1980. 274. "Head Office: Europe House, Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey, Great Britain."
  26. ^ a b "Canon UK". Canon. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "Richmond in Surrey David Richmond + Partners' headquarters building for Canon in Reigate draws inspiration from an existing Regency villa to create a contemporary office complex with classical proport". Architects Journal. 9 March 2000. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Locations". Kimberly Clark. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  29. ^ "Benefits Practice Summer Intern". Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  30. ^ Seymour, Jenny (November 11, 2013). "Reigate's Pilgrim Brewery comes of age after 30-year battle for survival". thisissurrey.co.uk. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  31. ^ Limetree School
  32. ^ A new primary School in Redhill
  33. ^ Jobs for the boys
  34. ^ South East Surrey Short Stay School becomes Reigate Valley College
  35. ^ St Mary's church, Reigate
  36. ^ Reigate Methodist Church
  37. ^ Reigate Baptist Church
  38. ^ Reigate Park Church
  39. ^ Reigate and Redhill Community Church
  40. ^ Holy Family Church, Reigate
  41. ^ Reigate Lawn Tennis Club Pitchero sports listings
  42. ^ [.www.pitchero.com/clubs/reigatepriorycricketclub Reigate Priory Cricket Club] Pitchero sports listings
  43. ^ Reigate Rugby Club Pitchero sports listings
  44. ^ Play Rugby - Old Reigatians
  45. ^ Donyngs Leisure Centre

References[edit]

  • W. Hooper. Reigate; its story through the ages. 1945
  • J. Greenwood. Turnpikes and the economy: the case of Reigate

External links[edit]

Media related to Reigate at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Woodhatch at Wikimedia Commons