London Local History - this lists street by street items of historical interest - public, industrial buildings & some environmental features in London and its immediate surroundings. Streets are given in OS grid squares - but numbering is not included (sorry!). Older squares give links to adjacent squares - but many are unfinished. Enter search words above right
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
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.
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
typical Baroque House
14 Holmesdale Natural History
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.
65 18th porch with sand caves.
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.
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 1696as 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
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.
Station, 1849. Opened as
Reigate Town. 1898 renamed Reigate
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
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
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
Vogan Memorial . The park was presented to the town by Mr. and Mrs. Randal Vogan
6 timber frame
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
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 19thcentury. 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
River Lea/Bow Creek The Lea winds itself generally southwards towards the Thames TQ 39505 81448 Canning Town on the Essex bank of Lea/Bow Creek. This was, and is, a heavily industrialised area together with a very down market housing area with markets, shops, cinemas, pubs and many charitable and missionary organisations. In the 2000s public transport has been transformed and much housing renewed, and it is an area in a great deal of change. Post to the west Poplar Post to the south Leamouth and Dome Post to the east Canning Town, Butchers Road Post to the north West Ham Station Appleby Road The road is named after a local ARP warden who was killed during the Blitz. A pre-war suburban ideal is demonstrated in this West Ham estate. Barking Road It was built by the Commercial Road Turnpike Trust from the East India Docks eastwards. Now the A124 it formed part of the original A13 before the building so the East Ham and Barking Bypass in 1928. It was widened as part o
Post to the west (north west quarter) Mile End Post to the west (north east quarter) Post to the east Bromley by Bow Post to the north Old Ford Addington Road Addington Arms . Pub dating from the 1860s. It does not appear to be still there. Police stables . From 1938 twenty horses were located here. These stables were built in moderne style white concrete by police surveyor Gilbert Mackenzie Trench. There is a stable at the back as well as tack rooms and a chimney for the forge – there was a full time farrier. Above are two flats for married police officers. The white concrete wall is original. Alfred Street 1-5 Inland Revenue Office . Sold off 1981. Has been used as a college an as offices Almshouses Way, This was once called Priscilla Street. 1 Drapers' Almshouses . These were built in 1706. What remains is a brick group of four tenements with central raised and pedimented chapel. They were restored in 1982 but were originally part of a larger group funded by
Post to the south Woodside Post to the east Birkbeck Post to the north Anerley Albert Road This road is the earliest built here, first listed in 1855, and although the Croydon Canal was no longer in use it influenced the alignment of the road. From the junction with Portland Road looking the curve of the road reflects the line of the old canal which was to the north of the houses. It is named after Albert, the Prince Consort. 74-76 Stanleybury . Very large three-storey semis. Built for William Stanley, who moved to 74 in 1867. William Stanley’s works in South Norwood was complimented by his local philanthropy. His site is now a close of modern flats. Accidentally demolished. 67 small trading estate and MOT centre . At one time this was home to a theatre transport specialist. St.Mark . This was the first church in the area and is the parish church by G. H. Lewis. The nave was built in 1852 and the church was extended in 1862 and in successive years until 1890. It is in Kentis