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Description: Reigate Priory
Date Listed: 19 October 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 289279
OS Grid Reference: TQ2531850004
OS Grid Coordinates: 525318, 150004
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2355, -0.2063
There is also a scheduled monument, The Priory, Reigate, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.
TQ 2549 NW 16/37 19.10.51
TQ 2550 SW 12/37
Purchased by Reigate Corporation in 1945. Now a Council School. The exact date
of the foundation of the medieval Priory is not known, but it was prior to the
death of William de Warrenne in 1240. At the dissolution it was granted to William,
1st Lord Howard of Effingham, who built a house on the site in which some parts
of the C13 Priory were incorporated. His son, Charles, 2nd Lord Howard of Effingham,
later 1st Earl of Nottingham, who defeated the Spanish Armada, lived here and
is buried in Reigate Parish Church. John Foxe, author of the "Book of Martyrs",
also lived in the house for a time when tutor to the family. Archbishop Usher
died there in 1656. James II, Duke of York, occasionally occupied the house between
1662 and 1672. In 1766-1779 the house was rebuilt by Richard Ireland, who entertained
John Wesley there in 1771. Substantially the exterior is of this date, though
some parts of Howard's Tudor house remain and are visible at the back, facing
the courtyard. Also a 5-light mullioned and transomed window remains in an internal
wall. Half H-shaped, south-facing building of 2 storeys, 11 windows. Reigate
stone, stuccoed. Wood modillion eaves cornice and central pediment holding an
achievement of arms in a panel surrounded by 3 busts in shell headed niches.
Tiled roof with lead ridges, hipped above the 2-bay wings with angle pilasters.
Replaced sash windows with glazing bars on 1st floor, casements with transoms
and glazing bars below; in moulded wood architraves. Doorway in the centre with
curved pediment over containing a cartouche in the tympanum. In the angles made
by the wings are little curved bays containing tiny windows. The North front
has been cemented but shows its Tudor origin in 2 gables containing casement windows
with small square leaded panes. The other windows are sash windows with glazing
bars intact. Inside, a magnificent carved chimney piece designed by Holbein and
brought from Blechingley Place; 2 other C17 fireplaces brought from Castle Ditch
near Ledbury; and a fine early C18 staircase with wall and ceiling decorations
by Verrio and Corinthian screens top and bottom; and a back staircase of late
C17 type. At right angles to this front of the house is a red brick wing of 3
storeys, 5 windows, and 3 gables added or rebuilt by Isabel Caroline, daughter
of the 3rd Earl Somers (Lady Henry Somerset) in 1895. The other building at right
angles to this and parallel to the house was presumably stables, though it has
more the appearance of a real tennis court or riding school. C18. Red brick.
Stringcourse. Coved cemented eaves cornice. Hipped tiled roof. 7 modern windows
at ground floor level. Little round openings above them and bull's eye windows
at 1st floor level with an elliptical window in the centre. Doorway in moulded
architrave surround below this window. The court-yard is completed on the west
side by a red brick wall with fine crested wrought iron railing and 3 pairs of
stuccoed gate piers, brought here from the Bell Street entrance to the house.
The outer ones, which are for pedestrians, are rusticated and surmounted by vases;
the centre ones, which flank the carriage entrance, panelled and surmounted by
the figures of eagles.
Listing NGR: TQ2533050030
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.