Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for REIGATE

REIGATE, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred, in Surrey. The town stands at the head of Holmsdale, adjacent to the Reading, Guild ford, and Redhill railway, under the North Downs, 2 miles W of Redhill, and 6 E of Dorking; was anciently called Rigegate, signifying "ridge-road, " and alluding either to some ancient road across its site, or to the proximity of the Pilgrims way; was probably the place of a stronghold in the Saxon times; acquired a castle and an Augustinian priory in the Norman times; was visited, in 1275, by Edward I.; sent two members to parliament from the time of Edward I. till 1832, and one thence till1867; was disfranchised by the reform act of 1867; figured, for some time, as a seat of assizes; is now a seat of quarter sessions, petty sessions, and county courts, and a polling-place; publishes two weekly newspapers; consists chiefly of one long street; and has a head post-office, ‡a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, three chief inns, a police station, a town hall, a public hall, two churches, an Independent chapel, a Quakers' chapel, a national school, a British school, an endowed grammar-school with £23 a year, and charities £266.

The castle was built by one of the Earls Warrene, whoanciently held the manor; was taken, in 1216, by Louis the Dauphin and the Barons; passed from the Warrenesto the Arundels and the Howards; sank into a decayed state in the early part of the time of James I.; was entirely demolished in the civil wars of Charles I.; and is now represented by an oblong grassy mound, rising about 50 feet above the general level of the town. Avault 150 feet long and about 12 feet high, and two smaller vaults, exist beneath the castle-mound; are reached by a descent of about 200 feet; have arches of a character to fix their date not earlier than the 13th century; and, though traditionally associated with meetings of the Barons in the time of King John, were probably never more than cellars and store-houses. Similar excavations exist in other parts of the town. The Angustinian priory was founded by one of the Warrenes; went, at the dissolution, to Lord Howard; passed, in 1697, to the Somerses; and is now represented by a modern mansion, called the Priory, the seat of Earl Somers. The town hall occupies the site of an ancient chapel, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket. The public hall was built in 1861, at a cost of nearly £3, 500; is in the Gothic style; and contains a main-hall, capable of accommodating 500 persons, mechanics' institution rooms, free masons' lodge-rooms, and a museum. The parochial church is mainlylate decorated English, but includes portions from transition Norman to perpendicular. The churchyard contains an obelisk to the memory of Baron Masères; and a new adjacent cemetery has been added. St. Mark's church was built in 1860, at a cost of about £5, 600; and is in the early decorated English style. A general market is held every Tuesday; a cattle-market, on the first Tuesday of every month; and fairs, on Whit Tuesday and 9 Dec.

The parish contains also the town of Redhill; is divided politically into borough and foreign, or the part within and the part without the borough limits prior to 1832; became conterminate with the borough, by extension of the borough boundaries, in 1832; and is cut ecclesiastically into the sections of Reigate, Reigate, St. Mark, Nutley-Lane, Redhill, St. John, and Redhill, St. Matthewor Warwick-Town. Acres, 6,008. Real property of the old borough portion, £7, 297; of which £200 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 1, 640; in 1861, 2,008. Houses, 355. Real property of the whole, £39, 723. Pop. in 1851, 4, 927; in 1861, 9, 975. Houses, 1, 583. Mansions and villas are numerous. The land includes portions of the North Downs and the valley of the Mole. Fuller's earth, fire-stone, and fine silicious white sand are found. The head living is a vicarage, and that of St. Mark is a p.curacy, in the diocese of Winchester. Value of thevicarage, £418; * of the p. curacy, £400.* Patron of the former, the Rev. J. N. Harrison; of the latter, the Bishop of Winchester.—The sub-district contains also the parishes of Betchworth, Buckland, Headley, Walton-on-the-Hill, Gatton, Chipstead, and Chaldon, and the liberty of Kingswood. Acres, 22, 726. Pop. in 1851, 8, 478; in 1861, 13, 704. Houses, 2, 304. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Horley, containing the parishes of Horley, Leigh, Charlwood, Burstow, Nutfield, and Merstham. Acres of the district, 51, 276. Poor-rates in 1863, £13, 425. Pop. in 1851, 14, 329; in 1861, 20, 109. Houses, 3, 434. Marriages in 1863, 127; births, 696, of which 23 were illegitimate; deaths, 406, of which 142 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,014; births; 5, 507; deaths, 2, 959. The places of worship, in 1851, were 16 of the Church of England, with 4, 113 sittings; 5 of Independents, with 882 s.; 4 of Baptists, with 375 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 240 s.; and 2 undefined, with 110 s. The schools were 21 public day-schools, with 1, 370 scholars; 16 private day-schools, with 298 s.; and 11 Sunday schools, with 586 s. The workhouse is in Reigate foreign; and, at the census of 1861, had 183 inmates. The hundred is mainly identical with the district, but less extensive; contains eleven parishes and part of another; and is cut into two divisions, first and second. Acres, 31, 214 and 14, 218 Pop. in 1851, 10,056 and 3, 318; in 1861, 19, 143. Houses, 3, 242.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a hundred"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Reigate AP/CP       Reigate CP       Reigate Borough CP       Reigate Hundred       Reigate SubD       Reigate PLU/RegD       Surrey AncC
Place names: REIGATE     |     RIGEGATE
Place: Reigate

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