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Coordinates: 51°10′26″N 0°10′19″W / 51.174°N 0.172°W / 51.174; -0.172
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

High Street, Horley
Horley is located in Surrey
Location within Surrey
Area11.24 km2 (4.34 sq mi)
Population22,076 (civil parish, 2011)[1] or 22,693 (built-up area)[2]
• Density1,964/km2 (5,090/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ2843
Civil parish
  • Horley
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHorley
Postcode districtRH6
Dialling code01293
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament
List of places
51°10′26″N 0°10′19″W / 51.174°N 0.172°W / 51.174; -0.172

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.

It has its own economy that comprises business parks and a shopping centre with a long high street. Because of its position, it has good commuter links to London and other surrounding towns, with good rail links at the railway station and bus services at the bus station.


The first written record of Horley is a charter from the late-12th century, in which it appears as Horle. In 1203, it is recorded as Horleg and in 1219 as Horlei.[3] In the 13th century, it appears as Horleia,[4] Hornle and Hornly, and in 1428 as Horneele.[3] The second half of the name, –ley, derives from Old English: leah meaning a woodland or clearing. The first part may indicate ownership by a person called "Horne" or that the land was horn-shaped.[3][4]


In the past the Weald was a densely forested and water-logged clay area. During Saxon times, the Manor of Horley came under the control of the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter at Chertsey. In the Domesday Book of 1086, the Manor was within the hundred known as Cherchefelle which in 1199 became known as Reigate. The Manor passed to Henry VIII on the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 and changed hands several times during the next sixty years.

About 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east is the overgrown but well-preserved site of Thunderfield Castle, a twelfth-century ring and bailey castle.[5]

A gold quarter noble coin of Edward III, dating from c. 1363 – c. 1369, found in Horley in 2011[6]

In 1602 it became the property of Christ's Hospital in London and the original map of the manor is now held at the Guildhall in the City of London. This shows that Horley consisted of three hamlets around a huge open common. One was around the area occupied by St Bartholomew's Church and the Six Bells public house; another by the River Mole and the third in Horley Row where some of Horley's oldest buildings can still be seen.

The Common was enclosed in 1816, new roads were laid and the intervening land was sold. In 1809 and later in 1816, two turnpikes were introduced to allow the operation of regular coach services from London to Brighton. The railway was laid in 1841 and a station was built in the town. From that position, and from that date, Horley grew at a slow rate until 1950. Since then its population has doubled as it became a dormitory town for London commuters.[7]

Horley 8 HP 2-seater (1904)

From 1904 until 1909 the Horley Motor & Engineering Co. manufactured cars and vans at their premises on Balcombe road. These were reportedly sold as Horley and No Name.

In 1908 the first scout patrol, the Pewit Patrol, was established. After gaining members this patrol formed the 1st Horley Scout Group. In 2006 1st Horley merged with 2nd Horley due to a lack of leaders. Notably Robert Baden-Powell was briefly a resident of Horley. When he left for Kenya in 1938 he gifted a Malayan basket and autographed photograph of himself to the Scouts Horley District.[8][9]

Map of Horley from 1946

The Local Government Act 1972 changed the boundary of Surrey and West Sussex and placed Horley, Gatwick and Charlwood in West Sussex. The removal of Gatwick Airport and the surrounding area from Surrey into West Sussex met some fierce local opposition with the result that the parishes of Horley and Charlwood were subsequently returned to Surrey in the eponymous Charlwood and Horley Act 1974, leaving the airport to stay in West Sussex.

The Horley Master Plan, approved by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in February 2005, permits almost 2,600 new homes to be built.[10] This prompted immediate controversy as the area as with most of non-metropolitan Surrey, i.e. since its reduction in 1974, is Metropolitan Green Belt however is permitted where in pursuance with the local plan, and meeting national criteria including demonstrating environmental sustainability and upholding the character of existing localities.



Horley is at an altitude of around 54 metres above mean sea level.[11]

Salfords in the civil parish of Salfords and Sidlow, on the road to Redhill, is to the north and Gatwick Airport is between Horley and Crawley to the south. The village of Charlwood is to the west and Smallfield is to the east across the M23 Motorway.

Martin Saunders - Mayor of Horley


Horley is in the parliamentary constituency of Dorking and Horley.

Horley is part of the Borough of Reigate and Banstead, but also has a town council. The Town Mayor and Chairman of the Town Council for the year 2023-24 is Residents' Association Independent Councillor Martin Saunders.[12] In May 2016, the Conservative-led town council elected David Jackson as deputy mayor, even though he was at the time on bail and under investigation for sexually and indecently assaulting girls under the age of thirteen; he was subsequently convicted.[13][14]

Horley has two representatives on Surrey County Council, headquartered in Reigate:

Election Member[15]


2021 Jordan Beech Horley East
2021 Andy Lynch Horley West, Salfords & Sidlow

Horley has 9 representatives on Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, headquartered in Reigate:

Election Member[16]


2019 Jerry Hudson Horley Central & South
2019 Giorgio Buttironi Horley Central & South
2022 Hannah Avery Horley Central & South
2023 Jason Thorne Horley East & Salfords
2024 Neha Boghani Horley East & Salfords
2022 Victoria Chester Horley East & Salfords
2018 Richard Biggs Horley West & Sidlow
2024 Steve Wotton Horley West & Sidlow
2021 James Baker Horley West & Sidlow

Horley (along with Charlwood) was moved into West Sussex with Gatwick Airport by the Local Government Act 1972. Due to public opposition to these the changes, they were returned to Surrey in the Charlwood and Horley Act 1974, although the airport and Lowfield Heath stayed in West Sussex.[17]


Horley has been twinned with the town of Vimy, France since 1991.[18]

Demography and housing[edit]

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes Shared between households[1]
(Civil Parish) 2,463 3,111 1,456 2,011 8 8

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan Hectares[1]
(Civil Parish) 22,076 9,057 31.7% 39.3% 1,124

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

There has been a substantial increase in housing and population since 2011, including the large new development at Westvale Park north west of the town centre.


At one time the airline Dan-Air had its head office in the now demolished Newman House in Horley.[19]

From 1947 until 1955, Horley was home to the Wade Engineering Ltd, who made Wade superchargers. Horley was also home to the Matbro works which produced forklift trucks from the 1950s to the 1980s and pioneered telescopic handlers.[citation needed] The bright yellow Teleram 40 and Teleram C machines were very popular with farmers and construction companies.

Horley is the present home of Scotia Gas Networks.[20]

Today, about a third of the population work locally, while another third commute south to Gatwick and Crawley, and the final third travel further to London, Redhill and Reigate.[21]

Culture and the arts[edit]

Entrance to the Archway Theatre, Horley, Surrey, UK.

Horley is home to the Archway Theatre under the arches of the Victoria Road railway bridge. It consists of a bar, auditorium, studio theatre and rehearsal rooms. The main auditorium seats 95 and the studio seats 40. The company presents 10 full productions each year as well as a number of studio events and youth productions.[22]


Horley is served by Metrobus and Southdown bus routes connecting with Redhill, Three Bridges, Crawley, East Grinstead, Caterham and Gatwick Airport, as well as the outlying villages of Charlwood and Smallfield.[23]

Horley railway station is served by Southern and Thameslink on the Brighton Main Line.


Horley is within the BBC London and ITV London region. Television signals are received from either the Reigate or Crystal Palace TV transmitters. [24] [25]

Local radio stations are BBC Radio Surrey on 104.0 FM, Heart South on 102.7 FM, and SUSY Radio, a community based station which broadcast on 103.4 FM. [26]

The town is served by the local newspaper, Redhill, Reigate And Horley Life. [27]


Horley has one secondary school (Oakwood School), three primary schools (Manorfield, Trinity Oaks and Langshott[28]), two junior schools (Yattendon and Meath Green Junior), and two infant schools (Meath Green Infants and Horley Infants). There is currently no sixth form provision, so most students go to Redhill, Crawley or Reigate (e.g. East Surrey College and Reigate College) to continue their studies.

All the local schools are part of the Horley Learning Partnership,[29] a local educational confederation which enables schools to develop a range of shared services. It also runs the Horley SureStart centre.


Horley is the home town of Horley Town F.C. established in 1898.[30] Horley has cricket, hockey, tennis, bowls, running[31] and, since the first part of the 21st century, rugby union clubs.[32]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ "Custom report - Nomis - Official Labour Market Statistics". Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Gover, John Eric Bruce; Mawer, Allen; Stenton, Frank Merry (1969). The place-names of Surrey. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 292.
  4. ^ a b Ellaby, Roger (2010). "Horley revisited: reflections on the place-name of a Wealden settlement" (PDF). Surrey Archaeological Collections. 95: 271–279. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 August 2022. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  5. ^ Peter C. Cox. "Thunderfield & Haroldslea". Horley Local History Society. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  6. ^ Williams, D. "Finds record for: SUR-BAB296". The Portable Antiquities Scheme. Archived from the original on 28 April 2020. Retrieved 25 August 2022.
  7. ^ Horley Town Council - A profile of Horley Archived 23 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "1st & 2nd Horley Scouts - Coming Soon..." Scouts 1st & 2nd Horley. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  9. ^ "The Scouts & Horley". RH Uncovered. 23 September 2018. Archived from the original on 26 September 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  10. ^ "What has been delivered in Horley". Reigate & Banstead Borough Council. 22 May 2022. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  11. ^ "Horley Climate". Met Office. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Mayor's Welcome - Horley Town Council". www.horleysurrey-tc.gov.uk. Retrieved 25 July 2023.
  13. ^ Seymour, Jenny (14 November 2018). "Ex-Horley councillor found guilty of child sex assaults". SurreyLive. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  14. ^ Seymour, Jenny (22 November 2018). "Council slammed for making sex offender deputy mayor while on bail". SurreyLive. Archived from the original on 28 February 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Your Councillors". Surrey County Council. 22 June 2022. Archived from the original on 1 June 2022. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  16. ^ "Your Councillors". Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. 22 June 2022. Archived from the original on 9 August 2022. Retrieved 19 June 2022.
  17. ^ "CHARLWOOD AND HORLEY BILL (Hansard, 13 November 1973)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 13 November 1973. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. Charlwood and Horley Bill 1973
  18. ^ "Horley Vimy Twinning Association - Home". surreycommunity.info. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  19. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 25–31 March 1992. 75 Archived 2 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ "Contact Us". SGN. Archived from the original on 23 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  21. ^ Profile of the parish of Horley Archived 23 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Archway Theatre Horley". Archway Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  23. ^ "Route information: Metrobus". www.metrobus.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Full Freeview on the Reigate (Surrey, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  25. ^ "Full Freeview on the Crystal Palace (Greater London, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  26. ^ "SUSY Radio". Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  27. ^ "Redhill, Reigate And Horley Life". Retrieved 14 November 2023.
  28. ^ "Langshott Primary School". UK Department for Education. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  29. ^ Horley Town Council Archived 11 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ Horley Town FC history Archived 13 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Horley Harriers". Archived from the original on 23 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  32. ^ "NOTICE BOARD". rugbyinsussex.org.uk. Archived from the original on 23 July 2008.
  33. ^ Klaveren, Tom Van (22 September 2017). "23 celebrities you might not know went to school in Surrey". GetSurrey. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  34. ^ "Jack Fairman". historicracing.com. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  35. ^ Rusk, Connie (8 September 2016). "Author's gender reassignment journey charted in". Surrey Live. Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  36. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 294. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  37. ^ Barbarian, Lydie; Sutherland, Steve; Smith, Robert (1988). The Cure: Ten Imaginary Years. London: Zomba Books. p. 121. ISBN 0-946391-87-4. OCLC 59918838.
  38. ^ Apter, Jeff (2009). Never Enough: the Story of The Cure. Omnibus Press. p. 42. ISBN 9780857120243. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2020 – via Google Books.
  39. ^ Brown, Matthew (21 May 2004). "My Best Teacher". Times Educational Supplement. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2011.

External links[edit]