Reigate Castle

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Other/Unknown), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameReigate Castle
Alternative NamesHolmesdale
Historic CountrySurrey
Modern AuthoritySurrey
1974 AuthoritySurrey
Civil ParishReigate

Reigate Castle was probably constructed soon after 1088 when William de Warenne was created Earl of Surrey and received a grant of Reigate from the King. It was strongly fortified by the Earl of Arundel in the late 14th century. However, by 1441 the houses within the castle were ruinous. It was briefly occupied by both sides during the Civil War but a Parliamentary Order of 1648 requiring it to be made indefensible, no doubt completed the ruin. The mock antique gateway was erected in 1777. Reigate Castle occupies a natural sand-hill, which has been artificially scarped, forming a plateau. At the foot of the scarp is a ditch, of varying widths. The crest of the scarp had a stone wall round it at one period. This formed the inner ward of the castle. The entrance was to the east, by the causeway, perhaps once broken by a drawbridge, across the ditch. Outside the north-western part of the ditch, up the hill, was an extensive outwork. From this outwork or barbican a wet ditch ran eastwards and then southwards in a curve. From the northern outwork or barbican a wall was carried round the west and south sides of the castle on the outside of the dry fosse round the inner ward, making a narrow outer ward here also. The caverns are under the western part of the inner enclosure. There is an entrance from the middle of the castle, and another, perhaps more recent, from the western ditch. The caverns were in all probability dry cellars and storehouses to begin with and enlarged later on. No structural remains exist of the original castle buildings. Some old stonework is visible in garden walls to the south of the castle but there is no indication that it is in situ. On the north side of the castle site are the remains of a moat now cemented into an ornamental sheet of water. (Surrey HER)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ252503
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 310
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Surrey (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 20-1
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 242
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 466
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 283
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 291
  • Hooper, 1945, Reigate, its Story through the Ages (Guildford) p. 44-9
  • Malden, H.E. (ed), 1912, VCH Surrey Vol. 4 p. 397
  • Clinch and Montgomerie, 1911, Malden, H.E. (ed), VCH Surrey Vol. 3 p. 230-1 online transcription
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 98-9 online copy
  • Timbs, J. and Gunn, A., 1872, Abbeys, Castles and Ancient Halls of England and Wales Vol. 1 (London) p. 278-81 online copy
  • Walford, 1848 Brayley (ed), History of Surrey (London) Vol. 4 p. 35-6
  • Manning and Bray, 1804, The History and Antiquities of Surrey (London) Vol. 1 p. 293-4


  • 2001, 'Archaeology in Surrey 2000' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 88 p. 346 online copy
  • 1996, 'Archaeology in Surrey 1992-3' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 83 p. 197 online copy
  • 1992, 'Archaeology in Surrey 1990' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 81 p. 152 online copy
  • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 318
  • Brown, R. Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
  • 1897, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London Vol. 16 p. 177
  • 1842, The Gentleman's Magazine Part 2 p. 38-40 (underground chamber) online copy

Primary Sources

  • Flower, C.T (ed), 1925, Curia Regis Rolls Vol. 2 3 John - 5 John (1201-1203) (HMSO) p. 264
  • Stubbs, W. (ed), 1880, The Minor Works comprising the Gesta regum with its continuation, the Actus pontificum, and the Mappa mundi, by Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury (London: Longman Rolls series 73) Vol. 2 p. 420 online copy
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 445


  • Surrey County Council, 2006, Extensive Urban Survey - Surrey (English Heritage) Download copy