Medieval undercroft between West Street and Slipshoe Street, Reigate
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005940
Date first listed: 01-Feb-1962
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Reigate and Banstead (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TQ 24993 50349
Medieval undercroft between West Street and Slipshoe Street, Reigate.
Reasons for Designation
A domestic undercroft of the medieval period might comprise three, four or more vaulted bays depending upon the wealth of the owner. They were constructed of stone, fireproof and used for the storage of provisions or items of special value. Placed beneath a house they could thus be kept under close supervision. Although undercrofts are sometimes referred to as cellars, they were not necessarily built entirely below ground level, but, where they are sunken into the ground this can aid their preservation when the house either falls into disuse or is replaced by a later structure, such is the case with the undercroft at Reigate. All domestic undercrofts of the medieval period with significant surviving archaeological remains are considered worthy of protection.
Despite some later alterations, the medieval undercroft at Reigate survives well with much original medieval masonry. It is a good example of an urban medieval domestic building with well-preserved interior stonework and provides significant testament to the early history of the town. The monument has high amenity value, as a recreational and educational resource within the town, which adds to its value and importance.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 18 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a medieval undercroft, or vaulted chamber, believed to date to the late 14th or 15th century. It is situated between West Street and Slipshoe Street, which is traditionally recorded as the site of a market house demolished in about 1728. The monument is now located below a modern office building. The undercroft measures 5m by 3.5m and has a depressed three-centred tunnel-vault with five chamfered ribs, one of which is missing. The entrance is situated in the south-west corner. There are springings of transverse ribs in the wider south bay and two wall niches. It has walls of roughly-coursed rubble up to 2.7m high and a cobbled floor. The undercroft is likely to have originally extended further northwards and would have been lit by two unglazed square windows, one in the east wall and another in the south wall. The building originally overlying the undercroft fell into ruin and was demolished in the 18th century. Thereafter the undercroft became a chamber where rubbish accumulated before it was rediscovered and restored in the 20th century.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: SU 78
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Walters, P ‘A Mediaeval Undercroft at Reigate’ , accessed 2009 from www.thenutleylaneproject.co.uk/undercroftfull.php
Surrey HER 1004. NMR TQ25SW27. PastScape 400483
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing