Reigate’s earliest history can be traced back to the result of the Battle of Hastings. Victorious William the Conqueror awarded the land as part of a generous grant to one of his principal knights, William de Warenne, on whom he also bestowed the title Earl of Surrey in 1088. It is believed that de Warenne’s son, William De Warenne II, ordered that Reigate Castle be built, though the de Warennes were largely absentee landlords, with castles dotted around the country, their base being a castle in Lewes, Sussex. The second most significant part of Reigate’s history is undoubtedly the Priory. During the 13th century Reigate Priory was found for regular Canons of the Order of St Augustine.
Reigate, the friendly town at the foot of the Downs, is a traditional market town with pretty streets of Victorian terraced houses. It has a population of around 23,000 and it lies around 20 miles south of central London (via the A217).