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Pictures of Reigate

a Historic Market Town in the county of Surrey

About Reigate

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This is a bustling part of the Surrey landscape, it is easily reached via the M25 from London and is right on the North Downs Way.

The town is particularly noted for its fine castle constructed by William de Warenne. The castle, standing in the midst of beautiful grounds was captured by Simon de Montfort in 1264 and was subjected to siege during the English Civil War. The large Gatehouse guarding the bridge to the bailey is a folly built around the middle of the 19th century. This is a lovely place to see, the surrounding parkland is a joy with lovely views in all directions.

Historically, the name of the town is thought to derive from de Warenne's time and may come from Roe Deer Gate, as initially the town spread out from the entrance to William de Warenne's deer park, the landscape of which now forms Priory Park and Reigate Park. The caves beneath the castle are reputed to have been used by the rebellious barons prior to meeting at Runnymede for the signing of the Magna Carta. Although not a great deal is left of the castle, this and the caves and park remain open for the enjoyment of the public.

The 13th century Augustinian Reigate Priory lasted as a monastery until the Dissolution and was later granted by Henry VIII to William Howard, Ist Baron Howard of Effingham for use as a residence. In later years the priory became the home of the Earl of Nottingham, who as Lord High Admiral commanded the force who defeated the Spanish Armada. Today, this gracious building is used as a school.

Ringed by the dancing River Mole, Reigate has some very pleasant residential areas, it is therefore unsurprising to find a few well known faces around. It is the home of the BBC's Royal Correspondent Nick Owen, and of ITV's News Presenter Nicholas Owen. Dame Margot Fonteyn was born in the town as was Caroline Quentin and DJ Fatboy Slim.

Visitors will find plenty to see and do, there is a lively shopping centre with several individual shops, one, "The Penny Black" is the noted haunt of stamp collectors. Spacious streets hold several styles of architecture including beautiful churches and the lovely old town hall. You will also find a wide selection of pubs, quaint inns, restaurants of different cuisines, cafe's and tea rooms.

Reigate is conveniently placed for easy reach of London with its historic buildings, chic shops and nightlife, or for reaching the attractive seaside towns of the Sussex coast, which include Brighton, Hove and Worthing.

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