10. Common Lodging Houses and Surrey Towns

‘All appeared to be Tramps’

By the 1860s there was a cluster of common lodging houses in Warwick Town. This area later merged with Redhill, on the London to Brighton road, a busy route lined with inns. With the increase of road traffic during the nineteenth century and the arrival of the railway junction in the late 1840s, Redhill’s place on the traveller’s map was secured.

In 1871 John Whiting applied to have the Britannia Beer House registered as a common lodging house. The Head Constable surveyed the house and noted in his report that there were four sleeping rooms containing twelve double beds.

In 1869 The Marquis of Granby Public House was also inspected prior to its registration. When the Constable visited one night in March he found seventeen people, including five children, in bed or on the floor in just three rooms – ‘all appeared to be tramps’. Despite apparent overcrowding the premises were ‘fit’ to be registered less than a month later.


This map of 1872 shows a section of the London toBrighton Road at Redhill. The Britannia Beer Shop and the Marquis of Granby are marked.
From OS XXVI.16 First Edition 1872 and OS XXXIV.4 First Edition 1872, Surrey History Centre.

Borough of Reigate Watch Committee 1869-1876, April 1 1869, Surrey History Centre, CC98/22/11.

The Britannia Beer House in about 1920,when it was owned by the Sharp family.
Photograph courtesy of the late Mr Stanley Sharp and Alan Moore, founder of the History of Redhill and Reigate website (http://www.redhill-reigate-history.co.uk).


Painting of the Marquis of Granby in 1850.
Courtesy of the Holmesdale Natural History Club, Reigate.


Extract from the Constable’s report of his visit to the Marquis of Granby on the nightof the 17 March 1869.
Borough of Reigate Watch Committee 1869-1876, April 1 1869, Surrey History Centre, CC98/22/11.


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