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Grid reference: TQ335555
Location: 51°16’49"N, 0°4’54"W
Population: 20,957  (2001)
Post town: Caterham
Postcode: CR3
Dialling code: 01883 / 020
Local Government
Council: Tandridge
East Surrey

Caterham is a town in eastern Surrey on the A22 Eastbourne road south of Croydon. It lies in a valley cut into the dip slope of the North Downs. The town lies within the Tandridge hundred.

The town is served by Caterham railway station.


The original settlement was on the ridge above the modern town and is now called Caterham on the Hill. The modern town in the valley is a product of the Victorian age and the coming of the Caterham railway line in 1856. The Victorian expansion of the town required the building of a much larger parish church (St Mary the Virgin) in 1866 but the old Norman church of St Lawrence was retained and remains directly across the road from St Mary's. As it grew Caterham Valley gained its own church, St John the Evangelist, which was consecrated in 1882 and is larger than St Mary's.

From 1877 Caterham Barracks on the hill was a depot for the foot guards regiments. In August 1975 a local public house (the Caterham Arms) which was frequented by soldiers was targeted by an IRA bomb[1]. The barracks were closed in the 1990s and the site redeveloped for housing.

The North Downs Way, a popular National trail with walkers passes very close to the town.


St John the Evangelist
  • Church of England:
    • St Lawrence – the original, Norman parish church
    • St Mary the Virgin
    • St John the Evangelist (Caterham Valley)

Church Walk Shopping Centre

Church Walk Shopping Centre is a small shopping mall situated opposite Caterham railway station in Caterham Valley. Church Walk was built on the site of the Valley Hotel, which was demolished in 1988. Long before the Valley Hotel was built (to cater for visitors arriving on the new railway trains) there used to be a tennis court, croquet lawn, rose garden, fountain, and Mr Woollet's nursery.

Caterham Cars

The Caterham Seven sports car originated in Caterham. Caterham Cars are known as much for racing as they are for road use.

The first Caterhams were built in a small factory behind a petrol station in Townend, Caterham-on-the-Hill and although the cars have actually been supplied by a factory in Dartford since the company expanded, the makers have a dealership based in Station Avenue.

In 2007 Caterham Cars celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Village flag

The village flag

The Caterham village flag was registered on 20 November 2016, designed by Jonathan Spencer and adopted by a local vote.

The flag incorporates a sine wave for the hills and valleys in green and gold, the livery of the Caterham car company, maker of famous motor racing cars which was based in the village. The wave is arranged to resemble racing stripes, with a circle imitating a racing car badge. The circle contains a stylised cedar tree, for Caterham’s ancient cedar tree, which legend states was bought here from Bethlehem.[2]


Outside links

  • Page for Caterham in Kelly's Directory of Kent, Surrey & Sussex, 1891