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Reigate Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Reigate.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of Surrey.
1974 county of Surrey.
Medieval County of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ25205035
Latitude 51.23860° Longitude -0.20789°

Reigate Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


Reigate Castle was probably constructed soon after 1088 when William de Warenne was created Earl of Surrey and received a grant of Reigate from the King. It was strongly fortified by the Earl of Arundel in the late 14th century. However, by 1441 the houses within the castle were ruinous. It was briefly occupied by both sides during the Civil War but a Parliamentary Order of 1648 requiring it to be made indefensible, no doubt completed the ruin. The mock antique gateway was erected in 1777. Reigate Castle occupies a natural sand-hill, which has been artificially scarped, forming a plateau. At the foot of the scarp is a ditch, of varying widths. The crest of the scarp had a stone wall round it at one period. This formed the inner ward of the castle. The entrance was to the east, by the causeway, perhaps once broken by a drawbridge, across the ditch. Outside the north-western part of the ditch, up the hill, was an extensive outwork. From this outwork or barbican a wet ditch ran eastwards and then southwards in a curve. From the northern outwork or barbican a wall was carried round the west and south sides of the castle on the outside of the dry fosse round the inner ward, making a narrow outer ward here also. The caverns are under the western part of the inner enclosure. There is an entrance from the middle of the castle, and another, perhaps more recent, from the western ditch. The caverns were in all probability dry cellars and storehouses to begin with and enlarged later on. No structural remains exist of the original castle buildings. Some old stonework is visible in garden walls to the south of the castle but there is no indication that it is in situ. On the north side of the castle site are the remains of a moat now cemented into an ornamental sheet of water. (Surrey HER)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:52

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