Reigate Fort at Reigate Hill and Gatton Park

The interior of Reigate Fort, Surrey, open on special event days
The interior of Reigate Fort, Surrey National Trust/Andrew Butler

Step back in time and venture into the dark concrete voids of Reigate fort and discover why England needed such a strong defence built in the first place.

Unsettled times

The 1890s was a worrying time in British history with France threatening to invade. England had to defend itself and its capital. If London was lost, the country and the empire would surely follow. Reigate Fort was part of England's defensive line.

Why was the fort built?

Reigate Fort was built as part of a 72-mile defence line to protect London whilst a huge ship-building programme was initiated by the British government. The southern line was divided into 10 sectors and the fort fell into 'Redhill Position', which was 11km long.

Armed stronghold

The fort held vital tools and ammunition to supply soldiers and artillery at short notice.
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Did you know?

  • Reigate Fort is one of 13 forts built along the North Downs
  • It cost £11,339 to construct
  • The fort was originally called a Mobilisation Centre
  • Reigate Fort was built in 1898 as part of the London Defence Scheme
  • By 1906 the Government no longer felt that it was needed