History of Reigate Hill and Gatton Park

Living history event with the 10th Essex Regiment at Reigate Fort, Surrey

You'll find a history rich with stories from the Second World War here at Reigate Hill and Gatton Park and you'll discover all the different uses the land has been put to over the past few centuries - from parkland created by 'Capability' Brown to a stone quarry dating back to the Middle Ages.

Capability Brown and Gatton Park

Gatton Park was created in the 1760s by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. Brown's work is distinctive for its sweeping views, lakes, ponds and mounds planted with clumps of trees. All the features that you see at Gatton Park were created by hand with many of the mounds being formed out of the spoil dug whilst creating the ponds and lakes.

Digging for stone

Reigate stone was quarried here from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th-century. The old quarries can be seen from the A25 and the stone was used locally in many buildings such as the miners’ cottages in The Clears.

Victorian fort defences

Reigate Fort was built in 1898 as part of a 72 mile defence line to protect London. The fort held vital tools and ammunition to supply soldiers and artillery at short notice.

Plane crash on Reigate Hill

On 19 March 1945 an American Flying Fortress crashed into Reigate Hill. Sadly all nine crew on board lost their lives. The circumstances behind the crash still aren't fully known.