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Reigate in Surrey is a traditional market town with a population of around 22,000. It lies around 20 miles south of central London, but thanks to the North Downs, which rises to 235 metres just north of the town and provides the backdrop to the town, Reigate remains totally separated from the great metropolis. It is, however, unfortunate enough to find itself adjacent to the somewhat uglier town of Redhill, which grew up in the 19th century around the railway.
The earliest settlement in the area appears in the Domesday Book as Cherchefelle, which was to the east of the present day town centre. The beginnings of the present day town of Reigate were constructed around 1170 just south of the castle. The etymology of the name Reigate is unclear - Wikipedia goes along with the theory that it is derived from 'Roe-deer Gate' - a gap through which deer were hunted; whereas Wilfrid Hooper in his book Reigate - Its Story Through the Ages prefers the idea that the element 'Rei-' comes from the Old English word for 'river' or 'stream', and in this case is a reference to the now-culverted stream that once ran in an open course across Bell Street and into the Priory.
The town boasts a considerable number of landmarks, historic buildings and open spaces, many of which you can see in this photo gallery. The 29 photographs were all taken by myself between 1985 and 1991 - however most of these scenes remain little changed today. They are divided between three pages according to the camera used to take the photographs, with varying results.
Photographs taken between 1988 and 1991
Some not-so-good quality snaps dating from betweeen 1985 and 1987
A further page of photographs from 1985
The images in this section are copyright © Robert Williams 1985-91 and may not be reproduced without authorisation