Redhill, Surrey

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Station Road, Redhill - - 877505.jpg
Station Road, Redhill
Grid reference: TQ275505
Location: 51°14’21"N, 0°10’21"W
Population: 25,751  (2001)
Post town: Redhill
Postcode: RH1
Dialling code: 01737
Local Government
Council: Reigate and Banstead

Redhill is a town in Surrey, part of the London commuter belt and grown so that it has begun to merge with neighbouring Reigate.

Redhill stands immediately to the south of a gap in the North Downs through which roads and the railway have been driven, in particular the London to Brighton road, the A23, and the London to Brighton railway.


It is not an ancient town. A town was first built here when a new road was built in 1818 and was originally known as Warwick Town.[1] The post office which stood on Red Hill Common was moved down to Warwick Town in 1856 and the town took on the name, becoming Redhill.

The coming of the railway was the major trigger for the growth of Redhill; the line from London to Brighton was pushed through the gap in the Downs and railway station and rail junction were built, allowing the town to serve as a commuter town and connection. The station still serves as an important commuter station an important junction in the rail network.

Redhill is also one of the few places in the United Kingdom where Fuller's Earth can be extracted: Alfred Nobel demonstrated dynamite for the first time at a Redhill quarry in 1867.

A large Victorian psychiatric hospital to the south of Redhill, the Royal Earlswood Hospital, was for 40 years home to two of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's cousins; Katherine Bowes-Lyon and Nerissa Bowes-Lyon, both of whom suffered from mental illness. Another inmate, James Henry Pullen (1835-1916) was an autistic savant; a brilliant craftsman and artist, his work was accepted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Some of Pullen's ship models, designs and art work used to be on display at the town's Belfry Shopping Centre but have now been moved to the Langdon Down Museum in Teddington, Middlesex. The hospital site has now been converted to apartments.

Richard Carrington, an amateur astronomer, moved to Redhill in 1852, and built a house and observatory. Dome Way, where Redhill's only tower block stands, is named after it. The site suited an isolated observatory, being on a spur of high ground surrounded by low-lying fields and marsh (now Redhill). Here in 1859 he made astronomical observations that first corroborated the existence of solar flares as well as their electrical influence upon the Earth and the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis. In 1863 he published records of sunspot observations that first demonstrated differential rotation in the Sun. In 1865 ill health prompted him to sell his house and move to Churt, Surrey.[2][3]

St John the Evangelist was the first of Redhill's parish churches and the parish originally stretched from Gatton in the north to Sidlow in the south.

Redhill Common, towards St John's

Around and about the town

The Redhill Brook runs through the town, mainly culverted, and upstream to the immediate north-east of the town are the Moors nature reserve, and the large new housing development. The brook enters a culvert behind the station and briefly reappears in Halford's car park.

Though now hidden and neglected, the brook created Redhill's geography. The flat area of Redhill was formerly the marshy flood plain caused by its dammed waters. The railway and A23 pass through or near the gap cut by the brook through the Greensand Ridge at Earlswood, just south of the town.

Redhill has in the past hosted an annual air display at its aerodrome, as well as a steam fair opposite.

The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run passes through the town each year.

Redhill Football Club plays in the town.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Redhill, Surrey)