Reigate Hill


Allders Road

Juneberry 1955

Alma Road

Bell Street

Lesbourne watercourse crossed the street but was culverted when the turnpike road was built in the early 19th

Reigate Priory.  18th mansion on site of the Priory of the Austin Canons.  Said that under the staircase is the entrance to a secret passage to the castle.  In 1771 and again in 1775 Wesley preached in what was known as The Priory, but then known as Reigate Place. At the Reformation the Augustinian friary was passed to Howard of Effingham and converted into a private house. Largely rebuilt at the end of the 18th century, it is now a school, community centre and a recreation ground.  Some original features remain.

15 14th tie beam from St. Lawrence’s chapel

Intended Reigate terminus of the Croydon, Merstham & Godstone Iron Railway which should have been reached in or shortly after 1805.

Swan. Coaching inn clearing coaches between London and Brighton

Castlefield Road

Town Hall.  erected in 1902 and later enlarged.

Fire Station with tower

Reigate 6th Form College. Ttunnels under the lawn.  It was formerly the site of Reigate Lodge. Tunnels were rediscovered in 1925/6 when the foundations of the school were dug and because of them the school site was changed and the playing fields reduced in size. The entrance was then down a manhole but in 1939 two more entrances were dug  for use as air raid shelters. They are now blocked.  One was at the side of a path leading to the bicycle shed with a long, steep passage.  The other was opposite the front door and had 2 sets of steep wooden steps. On the floor the sand was powdery and thick, The caves had many corners and cavities. One passage led to the Ice House which is a large mound in the shrubbery. There appear to be two different mines at slightly different levels which have merged. Tjey had quite distinct methods of working.   The southern, system has a gridiron of relatively small passages at right angles. The northern system has roomier passages, and in one or two places two superimposed levels of working.  

Church Street

St.Mary Magdalene. Parish church and the largest church in Surrey.  It is an ancient building of native fire stone dating from the 12th.  It has a tower with ten bells with was restored in 1845. in the chancel is the tomb of Howard of Effingham, Elizabeth's Lord High Admiral, who commanded the British fleet against the Armada, and died in 1624, aged 87. In the vestry is one of the oldest public libraries in England; founded in 1701.

White Hart. Caves and tunnels at what was once the end of the garden

The Barons.  1720 typical Baroque House

Croydon Road

14 Holmesdale Natural History club collection

High Street

Old Town Hall.  The old redbrick Town Hall at the crossroads in the High Street was erected in 1708, was originally as the Market House, with arches from 1728.  It is on the site of a chapel to Thomas a Becket.  It has two dummy chimney pots out of four and is surmounted by a turret, with a clock with four dials. It is still the property of the Corporation.

Congregational Church.  1869 

Methodist Church.  1885 

65 18th porch with sand caves.  

2,4,8,10,12,14,16,18,24,26,28,30, 32,34,42,46,48,50,70,84,86,88,90,92 and 94.  All have sand caves although the precise extent and .their relation to the surveyed caves and their current state is unknown.

London Road

The London road tunnels for 60 yards under the hill on which Reigate Castle once stood.  It was the first Surrey Road to be improved  in 1696  as a saddle horse road but not for carriages until 1755.  In 1820 the gradient was lowered on Reigate Hill and the tunnel built through the sand ridge.

6 Scutts Cave.  

14a Old Auction Rooms.  There have been structures on the site since at least 1664 and the Auction Rooms were built in 1868.  The tunnels underneath probably precede the auction rooms and are connected to Scutt's Cave and Barons' Cave. 

Sand Caves. The caves were dug for silver sand used for washing of woollen goods, blotting paper, sanding of floors, glass making and a substitute for soap.  A partial survey of the tunnels was made in 1942 by the Corporation when they were used as air raid shelters.  Between 1985 and 1987 the tunnels were resurveyed by the Royal School of Mines and behalf of the local Council. Large sections have been filled to stabilise the road and surrounding land.   Before 1900 men used to fill sacks with sand and take them to a puh.   The Landlord sold the sand to the car men of the goods wagons, who put up there for the night, at 6d. a bag and they took it to London and sold it for 1/- a bag. It was a gentleman's agreement that if you broke into a neighbour's cave you blocked up the opening.  

Bat and Balls Inn, or the Cricketers.  One set of tunnels led from beneath the Inn.  Up to 1912 this Public House was where the Beanfeasters used to come and put up for their day out. The landlord, used to light up part of the caves with candles and they paid 2d -to go down there. 

Three Pigeons. A well-known betting house which the police had closed because when they raided it they could not catch anybody, as they disappeared down the caves..   The police had the holes bricked up several times.   The roof of this cave fell in about 1923 and the premises were pulled down.   

Knight’s Cave - upper series. The last to be worked in 1887. There is a complicated network of caves here. At one point there are some railway remains.

Red Cross Inn. This was a Medieval pilgrims’ hostel. 

Knight's Cave Lower series. Anthother complex network.

Reigate Station, 1849. Opened as Reigate Town. 1898 renamed Reigate

Raglan Road

High Brooms.  1957


The ancient town with 30,825 inhabitants, was called in the Domesday Book 'Cherchefelle', but the modern name is said to derive from a corruption of 'Ridgegate', signifying a passage through the ridge of the North Downs.  It is also said it means a gap through which roe deer were hunted.  Known as Churchfield in Saxon times.  It stands on a bed of white sand, which was used in the manufacture of fine glass.  Reigate was a parliamentary rotten borough. Later it was a municipal borough Parliament, but was disfranchised by the Representation of the People Act. The De Warennes, Earls of Surrey, were lords of the manor. William de Warenne, the Conqueror's son-in-law, built the first Reigate castle on the high ground through which the London road tunnels for 60 yards before it starts the hard climb of Reigate Hill.

Reigate Castle

Sham Gatehouse Built by William de Warenne and dismantled in the civil war.  Gardens, lots of tunnels underneath.  The chief point of interest in the town is the mound of its old castle, under the Keep of which is a crypt known as the Barons' Hall with an arched roof and a vault.  It is 150 feet long.  The manor of Reigate was granted after the Conquest to the Earls of Warenne.  They are supposed to have built the castle was destroyed about 1648.  The stone gateway was erected in the grounds, which belong to the Corporation, are laid out as a garden, at all times open to the public.  The road leading from railway station to the town passes through a tunnel under the hill

Moat. In the 1930s the roof of one of the caverns collapsed underneath the Castle Moat and the Corporation put in hundreds of yards of earth in to fill it.                   

Reigate Hill

A lofty shoulder of the North Downs resembling the form of a crouching lion rising to 687 feet above sea level.  From the top of it we obtain a magnificent view, extending from the borders of Hampshire over a part of Surrey and Sussex to the Weald country of Kent, which occupies the prospect on the east.  In the far distance can be seen in clearly the outline of the South Downs


Reigate Hill Hotel and Ridge House both provide convenient accommodation for visitors and motorists.

St. Mark's Church, Gothic 1860.  Bulgy

Reigate Park

Vogan Memorial . The park was presented to the town by Mr. and Mrs. Randal Vogan

Slipshoe Lane

6 timber frame

Tunnel Road

Reigate's road tunnel was opened in 1824. It is the oldest surviving tunnel on a public road in the British Isles.

The tram plates from the Croydon, Merstham & Godstone Iron Railway that have at last reached the town are now in the 'caves' at Tunnel Road, about half a kilometre north of where the end of the line would have been.

Caves. “My mother, years ago, told me that there was a tunnel in the caves to Redhill, and a man walked through them playing, but the ground fell in on them, and you could hear the little drummer boy banging his drum for a long time after. She said it happened somewhere near Linkfield Lane. There was a major collapse in the summer of 1858 when part of the Castle Moat fell into the auction room caves. An opportune shower drove away a party of young cricketers from the spot, when the earth sank suddenly with such a sound as is given by the tearing down of a large bough. The band, the Reigate Town Silver Band used the Tunnel Road Caves for practice.  The entrance to the mine is down a flight of steps in front of the shop which was run by an electrical contractor Jo H. Croft.  The tunnels were once at the eastern end of the White Hart Hotel's garden. Charles Reason worked on the boilers of the hotel in 1927 and visited them - He described a 'bridge' built in the tunnels to support the road above. It was a fairly large structure with supporting walls which were not opposite one another, but ran offset and parallel so that the arch was built obliquely.   These are the same tunnels as were originally discovered about 30 years ago by a man who, without premeditation, and against his will, found is way into them.   He was a workman, and when cutting a trench for a new drain, sent his pick into the crown of the unsuspected cave - with a single blow he made a hole big enough for himself and what his sensations were when he found himself lying on his back on the sandy floor below e as the inferior novelist is wont to say, 'better thought than described’.  This set of caves is under some very fine specimens of builders work to support that medium of traffic, with its drains and water pipes, -are to be found. But in addition it is a very peculiar piece of brickwork, forming a section to a well, which was increased in depth under the circumstances. Originally the bottom was above the crown of the caves, but one day the bottom fell out. An additional sinking was made and all was well again."  The east and west 'caves' are in fact mines for silver-sand which was taken to the Thames-side glass furnaces in the first half of the 19th century. They were commenced shortly after Reigate's road tunnel was opened in 1824 (the oldest surviving tunnel on a public road in the British Isles.) They fell into disuse as mines in about 1860 and were subsequently used as stores for beers, wines, and spirits; military stores in World War I; a rifle range; and air raid shelters and a control centre in World War II. Since the last war the east side caves have been used as a corporation store, and included for some years public lavatories


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