History of Reigate Fort

Victorian soldiers at Reigate Fort (re-enactment) © Marc Russell

Victorian soldiers at Reigate Fort (re-enactment)

Reigate Fort was built in 1898 as part of the London Defence Scheme.

However by 1906 the Government no longer felt that it was needed. They now had a superior navy to defend our shores.

The fort was decommissioned and subsequently sold to a private owner in 1907.

What happened during the war years?

  • In the First World War the fort was used for storing ammunition
  • It was recommissioned in the Second World War and possibly used by the Canadian Army. The South East Command was also based in caves a few hundred metres from the fort. The command was led by Lieutenant General Montgomery
  • The Scout Association used the fort between and after the wars for camping and other activities  

Who was stationed at the fort?

Over the years various regiments have been based at Reigate Fort including:

  • The East Surrey Regiment
  • Sherwood Foresters
  • The Staffordshire Regiment
  • 3rd Royal Engineer Field Companies (volunteers)
  • 3rd Royal Artillery Brigades (volunteers)

Reigate Fort today

The fort was designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1972 by English Heritage and, since 2000, the fort has been restored with the help of various grants and a dedicated band of volunteers. 

You can now visit Reigate Fort - step back in time and wander around the old atmospheric buildings to discover what military life was like in late 1890’s (restricted access unless on a guided tour). Please see our events for scheduled guided tours or contact us.