This is one of the oldest parishes in Surrey and is unique in its ability to have survived over the years, having remained a small hamlet, when other hamlets have developed into towns. Earliest documentary evidence of its existence appears to date back to 880AD. Until recent years it had no school or Public house.

Gatton is a small parish located about two miles north-east from Reigate and two miles north of Redhill. It enclosed about 1200 acres of land, part to farmland and about 550 acres to Gatton Park, which is very picturesque and popular with visitors on open days.

Gatton, St. Andrew's Church, 1890. Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 595

Gatton, St. Andrew’s Church, 1890
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 595

The upper part where Gatton Hall, St Andrew parish church and the old Town Hall is located slopes gently down from Tower woods at Gatton Bottom, past The Japanese Gardens, recently restored, then on past the Lake to Temple Wood which borders the A242

A church has existed in the parish since the Doomsday Survey 1086. The present Church of St Andrew dates back to the 15th Century. The registers go back to 1599. Click here to see the catalogue of the St Andrew, Gatton,  Parish Records (1599-1893) held at the Surrey History Centre.

What made Gatton of special value to would-be Gentlemen purchasers, was that from 1442 until the Reform act of 1832 Gatton with its small population, returned two members to Parliament. The Doric temple built by Sir George Colebrooke in 1765 to represent the Town hall, still stands today. By 1832 Gatton became known as the Rotten Borough.

Gatton Hall, new portico, 1904. Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 992

Gatton Hall, new portico, 1904
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 992

Over the years the Manor was held by seven generations of the Monson family and in 1888 it was sold by Lord Monson to Jeremiah Colman who made his fortune from mustard. Unfortunately Gatton Hall was destroyed by fire in 1934 which included its beautiful marble floor. Sir Jeremiah had it rebuilt but to a less extravagant design.

Gatton Hall from the air, before the fire which destroyed it in February 1934. Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 9075

Gatton Hall from the air
before the fire which destroyed it in February 1934
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 9075

Gatton Hall interior showing marble hall (destroyed by the fire in February 1934). It is modelled on the lines of the Corsini Chapel in the Basilica of St John Lateran, Rome. Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 9076

Gatton Hall interior showing marble hall (destroyed by the fire in February 1934). It is modelled on the lines of the Corsini Chapel in the Basilica of St John Lateran, Rome
Photographic Survey and Record of Surrey no. 9076

In 1948 The Royal Alexandra and Albert school Foundation procured Gatton for the development of a boarding school. It is still is in operation (Sept. 2008). The school Internet link reported 410 boys & 360 girls on the school roll (3/4/08).

Buildings & Sites

Links to other sources

Gatton: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=42955

A vision of Britain through time Gatton, Surrey :http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/place_page.jsp?p_id=5224

St Andrews Church: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/gatton

8 Responses to Gatton

  1. Michael Soutter says:

    my grand father worked on the Gatton estate as a farm hand he lived in a cottage what is now Homethorpe industral with his wife and eleven childern . he died with his horse and trap in one of the roads on the estate.

  2. My Great Grand Father worked as a Groom for Jeremiah Colman on the Gatton Estate. He lived with his family above the stables, including my Grand Father Leonard Douglas Martin who was born on the Estate and went to the school there.
    I have a few photographs of him when he was little at the school, but would love to have any further photographs or documents concerning my Great Grand Father George Martin.

    • Caroline says:

      Hello Vicky,

      What years did your Great Grandfather work at Gatton? My husbands father worked there as a groundsman from 1937 – 1946 and my husband seems to recognise your relatives name .

      My husbands family name is Baguley .

    • Diana says:

      Hi Vicky
      It was interesting to see your post.
      My great grandfather also worked on the estate.
      His name was Charles Herbert Martin and he lived with his wife and 6 children in Middle Lodge. He was forester / grounds man for the estate from 1900 to probably 1920s. Although your great grandfather has the same surname I don’t think they were related.

      • Hello Diana, Further to your reply in 2015, I have now looked at the 1911 Census and my Great Grand Father George Martin was then aged 52 and still working there. He lived with his wife Emily somewhere in the Park.
        Please get in touch, if you have any further information you can give me.

  3. Richard Morley says:

    I have a pocket watch which I believe belonged to my great grandfather which has the inscription: ‘Presented to D. Lawrence by Sir John Henry J.P. of Nutwood Gatton May 12th 1925
    The watch has been passed through my family and I am about to pass it on to my son. Any information about Gatton and the Henry family would be gratefully received. I remember fishing on the lake at Gatton Park with my father and wonder if there was some kind of connection with the Gatton estate. Sadly, both my mother and father have passed on…so I can’t get first hand information about the history of the watch. I imagine it was a retirement gift and I also believe my great grandfather was a gardener who lived in Redhill. Any information would be gratefully received.

  4. paula says:

    I attended the Royal Alexandra and Albert School from 1974 until 1976. When I became a senior my home was actually in Gatton Hall itself, as a child I did not really appreciate the beauty of the place but I do remember that our dormitories had brass plagues outside the rooms with names of the Colman family engraved on it. Each morning before school started I often had to clean all the name plates with brass cleaner which meant going to school with green fingers!. As children we all thought the place was haunted and we would dare each other at night to walk along the long dark corridors downstairs with huge paintings hung each side of the walls. It was very creepy I have to say in the dark but during the day it was very beautiful. I recall that as pupils we were not allowed to walk through the main entrance, we had to walk round the side which I think would have been the servant quarters many years ago. Sadly my time at this school was not a happy one but I have nice memories of the creative gardens and landscaping by Capability Brown.

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