A Journey through Reigate Past – The High Street

From the rear of the Old Town Hall to its junction with Park Lane, West Street and London Road.


A map of Reigate in 1833. The dark line shows the boundary of Reigate Old Town as destinct from other boroughs of the Manor of Reigate. London Road is shown as London Lane, Reigate Road is shown as Ringley Park Lane. Castlefield Road was not made until 1900/1 but the old footpath, the route of which it followed, can be seen. At this time the Priory was still accessible from Bell Street. The tunnel at this time was ten years old. Church Street had yet to be widened at its western end; West Street and London Road (Lane) were also later to be widened. The shape of the High Street was much as it is today, although many of the buildings would be demolished and rebuilt, and if we could travel back through time it would be fascinatinting to see it as it was then.

Fortunately we are, in our own way, able to travel back through some of that time with the help of the pictures below.

(Map courtesy HNHC)


The east end of Reigate High Street in 1886

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As we leave the Market Place and move towards the High Street we pass Allingham's shop, already referred to on the Market Place page, getting a fascinating glimpse of its 1920s window.



The exact position of Allingham's shop can be seen in this picture from the late 1920s/early 1930s; the ladies on the left are looking in its shop window and the Old Town Hall is on the right. The bus conductor has probably finished his duty, having been relieved by another conductor at the Red Cross, and is returning to the bus garage at the top of Bell Street.

Alfred Henry Deane's china and glass store was at no.13 High Street in the 1890s




In 1899 H.B.Readers family grocery and provision merchant's shop was at 15 High Street between Deane's and the offices of brewers Mellersh and Neale. This shop would later be demolished and the red-roofed building seen in the next picture erected in its place.

On the Bell Street page the Mellersh and Neale Brewery was shown. The brewery also had frontage and access on the High Street and this 1920s scene shows the brewery offices far right with the entrance onto the High Street for loading drays. Boots the Chemist is the shop under the red roof next to it but has since moved across to the other side of the road. The building Boots once occupied was a replacement for Reader's shop in the previous picture.



This picture of the new International Stores building in the latter stages of construction can be fairly accurately dated. The clues are the gap in the east side of Bell Street where the White Hart Hotel used to stand - it was demolished in 1933 - and the presence of the Swan Hotel centre of picture, which was demolished in 1937.




In the mid-late 1930s the International Stores was offering strawberry jam at elen and a half old pence and, according to notices in the window, giving butter away free. Poultry was displayed outside the shop. The company emblem was a bishop's mitre and was displayed over the door, above the shop windows either side of its name and in the triangular apex at the top of the building. The building is now occupied by The Age of Elegance but the bishop's mitre can still be seen in its apex.


The bishop's mitre, a reminder of the International Stores' past presence in Reigate High Street




The building was later extended and the days of drays loading in the High Street seem to have already been in the past when this picture was taken as a flower seller is occupying the access way. The building was later replaced by shops that Barratts and Finlays occupied in the 1950s.

(picture courtesy John Eede}

Although the brewery offices have gone the cobbled access way still exists, as can be seen in this picture taken in 2004. A lorry is passing along the High Street between the entrance and the HSBC bank opposite.



Picture of the Boots Building as it is today

This aerial view of the brewery site shows Bell Street bottom left and the Market Place and High street bottom right. The exit pictured left can be seen (no longer covered over) at almost the far right of the row of buildings facing the Old Town Hall. The site is occupied by Safeways (taken over by Morrison's) and its car park.

(picture courtesy HNHM)


The buildings and shops at the south-east end of the High Street in April 2006. The curved sign over the gap between the building proclaims 'Brewery Yard'. In some respects there's a touch of irony about the fact that the name was not applied until years after the brewery yard ceased to exist but on the other hand its good that history has a place in the modern era.




The initial FH&W on the entrance to what is now Penny Black is the only reminder that Freeman Hardy and Willis' shoe shop used to be at 16 High Street.

Shops hidden behind the Old Town Hall in the picture on the left can be seen in this picture, which dates from 1905 or earlier. The shop with the two young ladies in the doorway and two more passing by was Mark Dean's Tea Rooms (see detail in next picture). Notice that doors still existed in the rear wall of the Old Town Hall at this date. In later pictures they can be seen to have been bricked up.


The shops and buildings at the north-east end of the High Street close to the Old Town Hall. Picture taken April 2006




Returning to the subject of Mark Dean's Tea Rooms, here is detail of the shop from picture 20 above

The Post Office was once very near to Mark Dean's Tea Rooms, on the north side of the High Street and restricted to a small building that was no doubt ideal for the job when first installed, that the old Post Office once stood. It became too small for the needs of a growing town and was replaced by larger premises in Bell Street in 1895 (details on the Bell Street page).




he old Post Office was situated between the shops of A.Knight, tailor, and Nickalls and Knight, watchmakers. Picture c1890.

Mark Dean, postman in 1867 (see below)


In 1867 a young man named Mark Dean became a postman and was issued with the first postman's uniform in Reigate. Photos were taken of him wearing the uniform. He had to pose for a whole minute's exposure for each and to make sure he did not move his head was held still by an iron bar. So proud of was he that he wore it on his wedding day, September 23rd 1869. He rose to become a head postman at 15s per week. At the time the postmaster was Mr Thomas Nickalls, probably the proprietor of the two shops the Post Office was sandwiched between. When Mark was first a postman the Borough of Reigate Council was only in its fourth year. He went on to leave the service of Post Office and go into business on his own. He became a Borough Councillor and by 1929 was an Alderman and the Council's longest serving member, earning himself the title of 'the Father of the Council'. He had a number of businesses in the town, one of which was the tea rooms mentioned above. The photo shows Mark Dean in 1936


The left-hand picture of Mark Dean was possibly taken a little before the one above. The people with him are unidentified but are probably family members. The caption for the newspaper picture on the right stated that the little girl was his granddaughter, Joan. Whether she is the same girl as in the left-hand picture is unknown.
Mark Dean was born at Buckland in 1849. His parents were George Dean and Harriet Martin, who married in Reigate in 1846. They had 6 children of whom Mark was the 2nd born. Mark married Ann Purton at Reigate in 1869. Between 1870 and 1885 they had eight children, 3 boys and 5 girls.

These two pictures and the genealogical information was supplied by Stephen Mark Dean, a great grand-nephew of Mark Dean.

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From Jeremy Greenwoods forthcoming (December 2009) booklet on the Reigate Post Office: -

Mark Dean, who had a dairy in Reigate, was also a postman for its town delivery three times a day. Although he retired in 1879 due to illness, he continued to draw a pension until his death in 1943 aged 93. Another local postman was Allen Edwards who did four deliveries a day until he retired; dying in 1947 aged 92. About 1882, Joey Drew, shoe repairer and H. Plowman, basketmaker in Bell St., performed the very long walk alternately towards Margery Hall, Juniper Hall and Leigh which they could considerably reduce by their knowledge of local short cuts. It is said that when Noble took over as postmaster, he was suspicious about the time it actually took to cover this route so that he accompanied Drew one day. Needless to say, he was taken the long (and proper) way round, returning exhausted.


This Nickalls advertisement from 1860 includes the words


above it.

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A couple of items bearing the name of Nickalls, Reigate (Photos courtesy Jeremy Greenwood)


Some brief details of the Nickalls family of Reigate taken from the history of the Pollard family as kindly made available to this page by Jeremy Greenwood.
. . . . . . Thomas Nickalls of Reigate married Eliza Pollard of Dorking on the 19th June 1845 at the Friends meeting house in Dorking. The marriage certificate shows no occupation for Eliza but her husband is described as a watchmaker from Reigate, son of Daniel Nickalls, draper. On the 24th of January 1848 Eliza gave birth to her first son at Reigate, who was given the name of Daniel Smith Nickalls. Their second son, William Nickalls, was born at Reigate on the 22nd April 1850. On the 25th August 1851 Eliza Nickalls gave birth to another boy, given the name James presumably in memory of her father, who had died in her home earlier that year. James was anaemic from birth, and died aged just 13 days on the 7th September. His body was laid to rest in the Friends burial ground at Reigate the following day. On the 3rd August 1852 their daughter Eliza Mary Nickalls was born at Reigate. On the 23rd May 1854 Ellen Nickalls was born at Reigate. Charles Nickalls was born at Reigate on the 10th December 1855, the sixth child of Thomas and Eliza. They had two further children: Thomas Rowe Nickalls, born on the 19th February 1857, and . James Pollard Nickalls, born on the 15th March 1859. Eliza Nickalls died on 16th March 1859. Thomas Nickalls married again, to an Eliza Davies, at Liscard, on the 7th November 1860. Thomas lived until at least 1878, working as a watch and clock maker, employing half a dozen assistants, and then from at least 1861 as Postmaster, employing eight hands, from his shop in the High Street, Reigate.





George Deane's photographer's shop on the north side of the High Street in the early 1900s. Deane's published a number of postcards of the local area. The shop is now the site of Boots Chemist.


Another view of the east end of the High Street


A similar picture to above right, with mechanical transport in the form of an early bus about to pass a horse and cart by the side of the High Street





The London and County Bank can be seen on the south side of the High Street in two of the above pictures. It took on the appearance it has today when it was enlarged. The building was refronted in red brick with the doorways, bay window, cornices etc. in Ancaster stone, and the lower olinth in Bristol Pennat stone. The design was to suit the wishes of Lady Henry Somerset in the rather severe style of the English Renaissance of the Georgian era, of which there were several original examples in the town. The builder was Mr R.Killick and the stonework was executed by E.Penfold and Son. The date that the work was done is unknown, but when found out will be added here. The bank is now the Natwest.





Wicks shop front
Wicks shop interior
The whereabouts in the High Street of Alfred Wicks' shop is unknown. By 1890 it had existed for some years and dealt in works of art, oil paintings, bronzes, furniture and china and had a reputation for only the highest quality ware.

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On the last Sunday of September 1912 a route march was held to Brockham Green by the Reigate and Redhill companies of the Surrey National Reserve. The Redhill company paraded at Shaws Corner at 2.15 and marched to Reigate headed by the Redhill Men's Own Band. At 2.40 it joined the Reigate company which had paraded at 2.30 with the Reigate military Band. Arrival at Brockham Green was at 4.30, including a half-hour rain delay. After rest and refreshments for 45 minutes the return was made through Betchworth, dismissing at Reigate Market Square at 7.30. Officers attending were Captain Bates Avery and Colonel J.P.Fearon, the latter being mounted in the lefthand picture and featured on the right.

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The north side of the High Street from the old Town Hall to the second shop past the entrance to the Castle Grounds. That second shop, the one on the left, is that of F.Hayden and Sons.


The south side of the High Street as far as Clement Davies shop at 27-29 High Street, opposite the entrance to the Castle Grounds




The Home and Colonial's new store opened at 22 High Street in 1925


Another view of the east end of the High Street

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A bus passes a group of people on the pavement in the 1920s. The two ladies have their attention taken by what is hapening but deep shadows on the right prevent us from seeing what is happening. We can, however, be interested on the shop on the other side of the road at no.28. The building is next to the pathway into the Castle Groundsand in the late 1890s was a grocery run by Mr E.Bristow. He continued to trade from there into the early 1900s.


A bill head for E.Bristow's shop, mentioned left

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At some time in the early 1900s the shop, also shown above, had its front remodeled and became the businesses premises of S.R.Lloyd, who sold provisions, hardware and groceries. He also had the shop next door where he sold wines, spirits and bottled beers.


In 1949 the shop was Jersey Dairies and had been renumbered 32.





This picture from January 2004 shows that the shop has been altered by the insertion of a door where the curved part of the window was.


The steps up to the Castle Grounds are shown here in a drawing put out by Heiatt Printers who occupied the building on the left (where Boots is today) for many years

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It will be seen from this photo that the steps have dark vertical planes and light horizontal planes. This is due to the 'nosings' on each step, an extension of each step's upper part that prevented water running down the vertical riser.


This feature was removed when the steps were renovated, a mistake that has allowed the vertical riser to become stained so that no aspect of each step is now lighter that any other.

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The view back from the steps to the High Street October 2008


The sign by the steps

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Previous to Hieatts occupancy the building adjacent on the south side of the steps was, in 1904, that of Bishop's Printers and Stationers.


In 1908 the building housed the business of Howard pike, photographer and stationer.


This is a very early picture of numbers 30-40 on the north side of the high street, taken before the stepped edge to the pavement was made and probably dating from before the 1880s. It makes interesting comparison to some of the pictures already shown of this side of the High Street. The shop on the right is a family grocer. Next to it the access to the Castle Grounds can be seen. Next to that, with the stone-faced lower part, is the building that occupied the site where Boots Chemist is today, here not even looking like a shop. A man stands in the doorway. Next to that the sign over the door reads, 'Allwork Cooper'. Further along a couple of other buildings also seem to be residences rather than shops, although one seems derelict. A further one, with the lamppost outside, has a board across the roof plus a sign on its front jutting out over the pavement and might have been a beer or ale house. Two such premises existed on this part of the High Street, the Rose and Crown and the Public Hall Shades, the latter presumably so named after the Public Hall that stood on the south side of the High Street opposite the building on the far left of this picture. The pub in this picture seems more likely to be the Rose and Crown, although it is not possible to be certain about this (see also picture below).


This photo was taken in Ap[ril 2006 to caompare with the above. The building on the right is still there but on the other side of the alley to the Castle Grounds there has been a great deal of change. the first two buildings have become the Boots of today and the next building (Reigate Tailors) has also been rebuilt in a style that presents itself as older but which clearly is not. Interestingly the next two buildings, the first of which seems to have been a pub, remain.



(This picture and information below courtesy Mrs Tucker)


In the first decade of the 1900s G.Clement Davies & Sons advertised themselves as household and fancy drapers, milliners and ladies' outfitters, also dealing in family mourning. In the 1930s Woolworths wanted to take over Davies shop, an unpopular move that was resisted but was succesful twenty years later. The Davies's shop was first owned by George Clement Davies. He was born in Oswestry 1830, third son of John Davies and Anne Askew Whitridge/Davies. His older brother, John, was father to Sir Henry Walford Davies. For some reason many of the males in the family were known by their second given names. Clement Davies lived in Guildford from the late 1860s until 1881/2 when he took over the drapers shop in High Street, Reigate. In the 1881 census it seems that the premises were owned by an Edward Flecker. Clement Davies died in 1901 and the business was continued by his son, Frank Gilbert Davies and Frank's daughter, Gladys Davies/Martin, until about 1956 when Woolworth's was built. It is not known when the earlier shop name of Clement Davies was changed to Davies & Son but probably when Frank went into the business. In the 1901 census the address is just given as 27 High Street. Both Clement and Frank were Congregationalists. Clement was a lay preacher and Chairman of the Surrey Congregational Union and Frank was Secretary of the Congregational Church.
The original attempt by Woolworth's to acquire Davies' premises was marked by the writing of the following poem by Mrs E.Penfold.

That is a good old motto,
And now becoming true,
In the dear old town of Reigate,
There's even more in view.

We'll not forget the good old days,
We walked the quiet streets,
And in the ancient Castle Grounds,
Did rest upon the seats.

Gone are the days of Old Landeaux,
Victoria's gigs and Dog Cart,
For endless motors passing thro,
Have come to take their part.

What if the shops are painted red,
And letters shine in gold,
Competition's good for everyone,
Of that we're often told.

  We still can roam the heath and park,
And still can climb the hills,
For surely they will compensate,
For many of life's ills.

We old folk must now stand aside,
Forgetting sentiment,
The young must move with time and tide,
before their years are spent.

So let us say, It's Business First.
To one and all be fair,
And if we cannot all agree,
of jealousy, beware.

If "Reigate Welcomes Progress",
Look forward, not behind,
Be brotherly, not critical,
Then progress we shall find.


It has not been mentioned on other reigate pages that in 1921 the sale of most, if not all, of the property freeholds in Reigate town by the then Lord of the Manor paved the way for the demise of many family businesses and the movement into the High Street by chain stores, such as Woolworths. It did not happen overnight but the attempt by Woolworth's in the 1930s to gain a foothold was indicative of the trend. Now we have the situation where the blanding down of our high streets by such nationally instituted stores means that there is little difference between the High Streets of many towns in this country. These shops are the same wherever one goes and their glass and aluminium fronts no longer retain the individual style and interest created by shops of the past. It is a

refreshing change to visit a town, such as Dorking, Tunbridge Wells or one of the many other other towns in England where this trend has not yet been completed. The poem's author, E.M.Penfold, was the daughter of the proprietor of the Davies shop, and seems to be waxing very philosophical about its possible fate. She seems to be accepting the inevitable, even gives it the name 'progress', although it did not fall upon Davies' business for another two decades after the poem was written.

Woolworths is pictured here before it finally closed in 1984.


Davies shop is on the right of this picture of the east end of the High Street

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A Clement Davies advertisement from 1937


It is not often realised that not so long ago the premises along the south side of the High Street had gardens. This was the garden behind Davies' shop.


Troops marching through Reigate at the beginning of WW1. The town must have almost come to a halt as the long column of troops and equipment passed. In this picture Watson's Tobacconist occupies the building on the left. More pictures of this event appear later on this page, on the Market Place page and on the page dealing with London Road.




An advertisement for J.H.Lilley, butcher, from 1905


A view from a little further along Reigate High Street, this time c1931, with J.H.Lilley's butchers shop on the right





An 1913 advert for Lilly's.

(Picture courtesy Surrey Mirror)


In 1928 Saunders advertised themselves as a high quality bakers, confectioner and caterer at 40 High Street




The 1905 Gaydon and Sons advertisement on the left shows the shop occupying 43 High Street but seven years later in 1912 the art jeweller and silversmith had changed its name to Gaydon Bird and had expanded into no. 41 (

picture courtest Surrey Mirror)







The business started in Lesbourne Road in 1948 on the site later to become the Lesbourne Road Garage, itself now demolished. A move was made to 82 High Street in 1951 and later to its present position at number 38. The picture on the left was taken in 2005, the one on the right in the 1950s when two-way traffic was still in operation





In 1970 Rolfe of Reigate had two shops; a linen shop at no. 44 (shown above) and a dress fabric shop opposite at at no.49.


A similar scene to several of those above, this one from 1936





Repairs in progress in the 1920s or 1930s, well before the public hall (now the site of Marks and Spencer) was demolished in the 1950s


Work comes under the close scrutiny of the man with the dog

(picture courtesy John Ede)





The repairs a little further along the street veiwed from the other direction

(picture courtesy John Ede)


A view similar to the one above but taken in March 2006. Alexanders Jewellers was having a closing down sale and the building housing its shop (red sale notices and clock over) is almost the only building now recognisable on that side in this picture, Marks and Spencer having replaced the Public Hall.





This group of three photos show work that has now been done to alter the shape of the pavement on the south side of the High Street. The work started in Autumn 2005 and, as can be seen in the left middle distance in the picture below left, was still in progress when these pictures were taken in April 2006.





Alexanders shop from a 1994 advert




These two pictures both feature the building that was once the offices of Morrison and Nightingale and are now in use by the pasta restaurant 'Ask'. The picture on the left was taken in 1921, the one on the right in 2006. Outwardly the building has changed little over the years.

(1921 photo courtesy




About George Carter Morrison

(whose solicitor's business was in the office shown above)

by Sean Hawkins.

George Carter Morrison

(Photo courtest Sean Hawkins)

George Carter Morrison c1865

(Photo courtesy Véronique Denis-Simon)

Emily Morrison, wife of George, with their daughter, Lilian, 1865

(Photo courtesy Véronique Denis-Simon)

Frank Morrison, son of George and Emily

(Photo Alan Moore collection)


George Carter Morrison was the son of George Morrison (c. 1789 - 1863) and his wife Elizabeth Carter. He was baptised at St. Mary's, Reigate, on 18th April, 1827. The gravestone of his father in Reigate Cemetery informs us that he was a Member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, and a conveyancer, and that he died on 26th February, 1863, aged 75.  From the obituary to his son we know that he had been steward of the Somers' family Reigate estates & those of the Leveson Gower's at Titsey. 

In the record of the marriage of George Morrison and Elizabeth Carter, which took place at All Saints, Kingston, on 11th May 1826, George is registered as an attorney living at Reigate. The census of 1851 records that he was born in the parish of St. Lukes, London. On Morrison's website it is stated that George Morrison had been in practice in Newcastle before settling at 46 High Street, Reigate. It should be noted that one of George Morrison's daughters, Elizabeth Moore Morrison, sister to George Carter, married George Edwin Pym (8th Mayor of Reigate) at St. George's Bloomsbury on 22nd August, 1860.  Pym was later to purchase old property immediately to the west of the Morrison practice, which he later demolished and redeveloped.

George Carter Morrison was formally admitted as a solicitor and attorney in 1849,and succeeded in his father's practice as conveyancer, and also to his position as steward of both the Reigate Priory and Titsey estates.  He married Emily, daughter of Samuel Relf, at Reigate, on 28th October, 1852; a useful connection since Relf was one of the largest landowners in the town, second only to the Somers family.  Emily bore seven sons and two daughters, and two of the sons - Percy and Frank - were to carry the firm successfully forward into the third generation.

In 1875, GCM became Under Sheriff to the County of Surrey, whilst George William Leveson-Gower (whose victory at Reigate for the second time, at the election of 1865, was thwarted when he lost his seat due to currupt practices) was Sheriff.  No doubt being a faithful steward to the Titsey estates and legal adviser to the Leveson-Gower family would have helped, as much as his love for field sports which brought him into contact with many county families.  In his leisure GCM was an enthusiastic fox-hunter - a longtime secretary of the Burstow Hunt - and a keen shot.  He was also a lover of the game of cricket and was President of the Reigate Priory Cricket Club at the time of his death.

His local duties were many: Clerk to the Reigate Board of Guardians; Clerk to Horley, Burstow and Betchworth School Boards; Solicitor to Reigate Water & Gas Companies; Director of the Gas Company; Conservator of Redhill and Earlswood Commons; President of the Association of Surrey Attorneys.  He was also a Freemason.  It would appear that his greatest local antagonist was Clair Grece, the Town Clerk, with whom there were serious conflicts of interest.

GCM, who latterly lived at "The Oaks" on Wray Common, developed a serious heart condition and died at Folkestone, where he had been sent to convalesce, on 21st August,1891.  His funeral took place on 26th August.  His funeral cortege which started from Redhill Station, the body that day having been brought by rail from Folkestone, consisted of some 30 carriages. The service at Reigate Parish Church, described as "extremely plain - no singing or music of any kind", was packed with a huge congregation.  The interment in Reigate Cemetery was remembered by those who attended as having been accompanied by an extraordinarily heavy rainstorm.  His will was proved at £17,232 net.

Emily Relf, GCM's wife, was born in 1831 and died in Reigate in 1901.  The daughter shown in the picture above is Lilian Clara Morrison, born in 1864, married John Philip Fearon, a wine and spirit merchant, whose family had been in that trade in London for many generations.  The Fearons lived at "Birdhurst", a large house in Wray Park Road, until at least John Fearon's death in 1919; Lilian lived on in Reigate until she died in 1945, at Barfield, Chartway, Reigate.

Many thanks to Mr Sean Hawkins for the above information and photo.




Inman's shop at 39 High Street was demolished to make way for the building that is now the Design Studio. This picture possibly dates from 1953. Inmans moved to number 12 close to the Old Town Hall. In the 1899 Kelly's Directory and 39 High Street is then occupied by Edward James Ladd. Looking in the commercial section of the same directory there's a D.Burgess, corn merchant, at 35 High St.
Further information from Derek Bristow:

The 1901 census shows that 39 High Street was occupied by David Burgess, his wife Ellen and two children. Ellen was an older sister of Frederick W Inman, who went into the business with his brother-in-law, the 1904-5 Kelly's Directory giving the shop as Burgess & Inman.


For some reason, as yet unknown, the shop is listed in Kelly's 1915 edition as Burgess & Son. The Holmesdale Directory for 1917 is the first (that I have found) with the name as FW Inman.


Here the seed store at 39 can just be seen on the far left of this carnival picture dating from c1930. The building directly behind the float is what is now Alexander Jewellers. The single storey buildings of Achille Serre, the cleaners, and Moseley Card estate agents stood next to the Congregational church for a while and are now the site of Marks and Spencer. The float was that of Matthews, a High Street greengrocer.


This 1920s picture shows some of the shops already discussed above. Davies is on the left. Next is Matthews Grocers whose carnival float is pictured above. The car on the left is parked directly outside the Reigate Corn and Seed stores, actually Inman and Sons. Next is Gaydon and Sons Jewellers, a predecessor of today's Alexanders (now changed hands). Beyond are the single storey shops and the Congregational Church. On the north side of the road and far right of picture is Salisbury's shop followed by Lloyd's beer and wine store. The small sign further away and seen below the sign with a lamp says simply 'salt'. Compare this picture with a 1914 view from the other direction in picture 89 below.




Another of Matthew's carnival entries, this time in front of the shop at no.35 High Street. The man in the uniform is D.Booker. The date is probably c1933-39.

(Picture courtesy Michelle Dullaway)




The Reigate Public Hall was opened on Wednesday 15th January 1862 at 5pm by Peter Martin Esq., Chairman of the Public Hall Company. Tickets for a dinner in celebration of the event were obtainable from John Lees, Surveyor for the Public Hall Company. The building stood for over ninety years before being sold for redevelopment and demolished. It is now the site of Marks and Spencer. The picture on the left above dates from 1870, the one on the right from the 1950s.

Rear of 43 High Street
A building dating from the early 1660s was dismantled and moved to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in Sussex when the Marks and Spencer shop was being built on the old public hall site. Details can be found at http://www.wealddown.co.uk/Buildings/House-Extension-from-Reigate-Surrey. I visited it quite a few several years ago but an email from Robert Stuart about it in January 2013 reminded me that it ought to be included on this page.

The 17c house from Reigate High Street at the Weald and Downland Museum




Anne's shoe shop was trading in the mid to late 20s at number 49.




Howlett's saddlery stood at 51B High Street. It was demolished in 1974 and became Budgen' supermarket


In 1968 James Booker, at 53a and 61a High Street, offered carpets, curtains, new and second hand furniture, antiques and bric a brac, as well as furniture repairs and french polishing.




There's a puzzle in the 1905 advert above as the address of the premises is given as 64 High Street but the shopfront clearly has the single number 4 on it. A look at the street directory for 1898-9 shows the address as 58 High Street, which only serves to compound the puzzle. Perhaps the shop moved and an earlier picture was still used. This saddler's business was established in 1886 and a look at 1888 Reigate street directory shows a J,Barber as a 'Fly Proprietor and Livery Stable Keeper' in London Road but unfortunately the listing for London Road in the same directory fails to list any J.Barber. So the puzzle remains - unless someone can shed more light upon it. (see also picture and text right)

If we move forward a few years to 1948 we discover the picture above of a 410 bus standing outside J.Barber & Son's shop at the top (west) end of the High Street. A look at the street directory for 1959 shows the shop still there.

(picture courtesy






This picture of the High Street in the early 20th century has come to hand since the above two pictures were inserted. On the far left can be seen Barber's shop when it was at no.64.

(picture courtesy






Thilthorpe's Store was trading at 52-54 High Street in 1905. Departments included groceries, Provisions, Baskets and chairs, Brooms and brushes, confectionary, china, enamelled iron and tinware, medicines, lamps and hardware, trunks and boxes and cutlery.

This picture taken in February 2005 shows nos. 52 and 54 now split into two shops.




A reminder of buildings long demolished in this curious remnant of old Reigate. The building is number 56 High Street.

The building shown left remains from old houses like these that once stood in the High Street c1908




WW1 troops marching in Reigate High Street. The 'remnant of old Reigate' referred to above left can also be seen here and at that time was Priory Farm Dairy.




Worleys was at no.57 High Street in 1903. This was before Reigate had its own telephone exchange as the number is Redhill 146.

1903 advertisement




The Congregational Church is shown on the left before enlargement in 1869 and on the right afterwards. Built around 1831 the church, at first referred to as a Chapel, enjoyed a great increase in its congregation around the time of the Rev. Adeney, who began his ministry in 1865. In this year the chapel was enlarged at the rear, a schoolrom built in 1860 being enlarged. Due to continued increase in attendance the Chapel was enlarged again in 1869, being extended at the front as far as the pavement.


Buildings adjacent to the Church are of significance, for the house seen in the above left-hand picture was once the town's first police station, and the cycle shop in the right-hand picture the first fire station. The fire station moved to the Municipal Buildings in Castlefield Road in 1901 and the picture above shows the building in use as Edwin Knight's cycle shop. Edwin Knight previously had an engineering business in the Old Granary, Church Street, which was later to become the Old Wheel Tea House run by Miss Milburn. While there he took on a 5-year apprentice, Charles Wragg, who later related how the wheel there that had once lifted sacks of grain was used to lift car engines. Edwin Knight moved to 51 High Street - the old fire station - in 1921. He died in 1940 and Mr Wragg took over the cycle business. During WW2 Mr Wragg did war work at the Monotype while his wife ran the cycle business. In 1973 they sold the business to DER, the tv hire company.

An advertisement for Edwin Knight's cycle shop



The front cover and first page of a stock or sales book kept by William Mockett. The first entry is dated 1849.


The following information was kindly supplied by Mr Sean Hawkins.

William Mockett is listed in the Reigate section of the Kent & Surrey Directory for 1850 simply as “Grocer, High Street”. However, in the census for 1851 he is shown living and probably working from premises in West Street – at this time he had a wife Sarah, b c. 1824 at Bexhill, sons Oliver, aged 5; Joseph E. aged 4; and two daughters: Jemima aged 2, and Kezia, aged 3 months. William himself was born c. 1813 at Firle, Sussex. The 1851 census shows that apart from one female domestic servant there was living in the same house a grocer’s apprentice, one William Davey, aged 16, from Lewes. No more can I tell you about this man at the moment – he appears on no other census, and neither does his family.  I just wonder if he emigrated, as so many did in the 1850’s – times were particularly bad then for small retailers, for many of the same reasons they are now!





This picture from June 1973 shows the Congregational Church before it was demoilish 3-4 months later Note that the High Street had been converted to one-way traffic by this time

(picture courtesy HNHC).


Congregational Church interior before 1925



This picture is of the girls of  Reigate Congregational School Gym and was taken in or just before 1912. The sender's mother, Doris Penfold, is on the far right of the second row; in front of her is her sister, Kathleen. The Congregational School is listed on the 1881 census as next to the Congregational Chapel in the High Street and was probably in the building to the side and behind the Chapel - the same building that was in use when Barbara Tucker herself attended the Chapel in the 1940s. At that time it was just used as a Church Hall for various occasions. In the photo it looks as though the girls are sitting on the lawn in front of the pavilion at the rear of the Church - there was a tennis court there and it was Barbara's favourite place after school in the summer. The names in the photo are: Front Row sitting on grass: L to R. Dorothy Green - Gwen Lee - Kathleen Penfold. Middle Row sitting on chairs: Maggie Lucas - Eve Worley - Grace Buckland - unknown - May Barrie - unknown - Doris Penfold. Back Row standing: Florrie Miller - Ethel Turner - Olive Clifton - Edith or Lily Capel - Maud Brown( head) - Lena Worley Dorothy Spencer - May Apted.

Photo and information courtesy Barbara Tucker





The Weslyan Church c1870 with its original wrought iron front fence and gate.


Now the Methodist Church, the building is much the same but the appearance of its frontage is much changed






The Public Hall appears on the left of the High Street in this victorian picture from the 1870s

(picture courtesy a Reigate resident)



A 1928 receipt for the purchase by a Mr Palmer of a mahogany melogram bought from George Rose of 62 High Street





An advert for E.Duncalfe's shop at 84 and 86 High Street


Mr Edward A Duncalf. Picture taken in 1913 on the ocassion of the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Borough of Reigate




An invoice for corsets issued by Duncalfe's in July 1915





The junction of the High Street, Park. Lane, West Street and London Road c1880, showing the pump that once stood in the centre of the road. The Red Cross Inn is on the right. Several of the buildings in the centre of the picture have been demolished


This is a painting by George Burtenshaw (who ran the coach building business in West Street) is called 'Faie Day'. It shows one of the stalls in the fair that used to be held in Reigate High Street and one of the Wickens' horse buses outside the Red Cross. The orientation of the picture is very similar to the photo on the left.


This picture of the same area at the west end of the High Street dates from c1930


A better picture of Steer's Tearooms. The building appears in the picture on the left and had Slipshoe Street on one side and West Street on the other. It was demolished in the 1920s as part of the sheme to widen West Street and open up this end of the town.




The first house in Slipshoe street

Demolition in progress




The tea rooms partly down



An aerial view of the west end of the High Street and Red Cross area c1920


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