A Day in Reigate – Members Only

12th May 2018, 09:15 - 15:30

The Surrey town of Reigate is well known for its ‘caves’ which riddle the town centre, although these are in fact largely old sand mines. The castle mound overlooking Reigate town centre is composed of soft sandstone and has been mined over several centuries. The castle has long gone but the mound and many of its excavations still remain. Known locally as the “Reigate Caves”, tours include the Barons’ Cave in the Castle Grounds and the East and West Caverns in Tunnel Road. Your view of Reigate will change once you have experienced what lies beneath your feet!

We need to assemble at 9.15 am so that we can make a prompt entrance to the caves at 9.30.  There are steep steps making this visit unsuitable for anyone with significant mobility issues.  You will need to bring a torch each (phone torches are not adequate).  Further details of what to bring, meeting point and parking will be sent with your confirmation.

Although this day is an open day, we are meeting early so that the Society has an exclusive visit before the general public can go into the caves.  The tour takes approximately 2 ½ hours so at about 12.00 we will start a lunch break.  There are many restaurants, cafes and pubs in Reigate to meet most requirements, or you could even bring a picnic to eat in the nearby Priory Park.  Information about the various opportunities will be available on the day.  At 1.30 or so, we will assemble again to walk the short distance to the other two venues just outside the town.  We will split into two groups at this point as both have limited space.

The Cranston Library, founded on 14 March 1701, is situated in a small chamber above the vestry in the parish church of St Mary Magdalene, Reigate, Surrey. It was the first public lending library in England and it contains works of literature, history, geography, science, classics and theology.  There are over two thousand books in the library, mainly dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There are also a number of pamphlets and maps.  It is not usually open to the public but the volunteers there have kindly agreed to host a visit by the Society.

The Holmesdale Natural History Club is a charity which exists to promote the study of natural history, local history, archaeology and geology in the vicinity of Reigate.  It has extensive museum collections (with some specimens collected in the eighteenth century) which include a large collection of stuffed birds, herbarium specimens (including material collected by James Brewer for the first Flora of Surrey which was published by the Club in 1863), local history and archaeological collections.

The cost of this visit will be £12.00 for members which includes the fee for the caves visit and donations to both the Cranston Library and the Holmesdale Museum.  No refreshments are included on this occasion.

If you wish to join us for the day, please book your spaces at the bottom of the page online or alternatively complete and return the downloadable booking form (below in green letters) to our office before Friday 4th May 2018. Please be aware that as this event has limited numbers, it is faster to book your space online.

For any further information, contact us at


Please note that the Surrey Hills Society and its Event partners accept no responsibility for any loss, damage or personal injury during events. Participants are requested to wear appropriate clothing and footwear and take due care and attention. The Society uses members’ photographs on social media and on our website.  If you are not happy to have your photo taken during this event, please notify us in writing prior to the event and make the event organiser aware on the day.


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