This page is about the history of the town of Redhill.
As the nineteenth century dawned most of the land where Redhill now stands was waterlogged wasteland, a few miles to the east of the London to Brighton Road.
Unlike its illustrious neighbours, it has no history which can be traced back to the days of William the Conqueror - yet it was to become as big as any town in the locality and a commercial centre to draw in people from all around.
The town owes its existence to the construction of a road linking Gatton Point to the London - Brighton Road at Povey Cross in 1818, and later the arrival of the railway. Two stations were introduced to the area in the early 1840s, one on the London to Brighton Route and a second on the Dover line.
The inconvenience of two separate stations resulted in them being merged on the present site in 1845.
The area around Warwick Road, North Street and Station Road West was developed and became known as Warwick Town.
This new area of potential prosperity and opportunity, with its proximity to London and convenient rail link, attracted residents and businessmen from near and far.
The Red Hill post mark
The name Red Hill then existed only in Red Hill Common. Around this time a sub-post office was set up at the top of Whitepost Hill. As it was also on the common, letters were franked 'Red Hill'.
In 1856 the Whitepost Hill post office moved to Station Road. It took with it its 'Red Hill' stamp and, as incoming and outgoing mail was franked accordingly, may have been the cause of the 'Warwick Town' name falling into disuse.
A public meeting in 1859 began a movement for Reigate and Redhill to become a Municipal Borough.
Parish affairs at this time were regulated by the Parish vestry, held in the infants schoolrooms near to where St Matthew's Church now stands, and it was here that the Corporation had its birth through the efforts of men such as Thomas Dann, who was to be the Borough's first mayor.
Four years later, in 1863, a Charter of Incorporation was granted by Queen Victoria. This was the beginning of the Borough Council we have today.
Victorian Redhill thrived, with new churches and the Market Hall built in the 1860s, and a fortnightly stock market established.
Redhill might have progressed far more rapidly but for WW2. Instead it stood almost still for well over a decade before the greatest change in its history began in the 1950s.
Much of Old Redhill disappeared as renewal that lasted well into the eighties modernised the town, putting the traffic mainly on its outside and creating a pedestrianised precinct and shopping mall at its centre.
Today the future looks bright for the town, which is currently the subject of a revitalisation project being worked up by the Borough Council.
Last updated : 28/04/2009