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Horley High Street.JPG
Horley High Street
Horley is located in Surrey
Area 11.24 km2 (4.34 sq mi)
Population 22,076 (civil parish, 2011) or 22,693 as to Built up Area
• Density 1,964/km2 (5,090/sq mi)
OS grid reference TQ2843
Civil parish
  • Horley
  • Reigate and Banstead
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HORLEY
Postcode district RH6
Dialling code 01293
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
  • East Surrey
List of places
51°10′26″N 0°10′19″W / 51.174°N 0.172°W / 51.174; -0.172

Horley is a town in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in Surrey, England, south of the towns of Reigate and Redhill. The county border with West Sussex is to the south with Crawley and Gatwick Airport close to the town. It is a commuter town with fast links by train throughout the day to London from Horley railway station and also has a significant economy of its own, including business parks and a relatively long high street.


In the past the Weald was a densely forested and marshy area. During Saxon times, the Manor of Horley came under the control of the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter at Chertsey. In the Domesday Book of 1086, the Manor was within the hundred known as Cherchefelle which in 1199 became known as Reigate. The Manor passed to Henry VIII on the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 and changed hands several times during the next sixty years.

About 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east is the overgrown but well-preserved site of Thunderfield Castle, a twelfth-century ring and bailey castle.

In 1602 it became the property of Christ's Hospital in London and the original map of the manor is now held at the Guildhall in the City of London. This shows that Horley consisted of three hamlets around a huge open common. One was around the area occupied by St Bartholomew's Church and the Six Bells public house; another by the River Mole and the third in Horley Row where some of Horley's oldest buildings can still be seen.

The Common was enclosed in 1816, new roads were laid and the intervening land was sold. In 1809 and later in 1816, two turnpikes were introduced to allow the operation of regular coach services from London to Brighton. The railway was laid in 1841 and a station was built in the town. From that position, and from that date, Horley grew at a slow rate until 1950. Since then its population has doubled as it became a dormitory town for London commuters.

Map of Horley from 1946

In 1908 the first scout patrol, the pewit patrol, was established. After gaining members this patrol formed 1st Horley scout group which them merged with 2nd Horley in 2006.

The Local Government Act of 1972 changed the boundary of Surrey and West Sussex and placed Horley, Gatwick and Charlwood in West Sussex. The removal of Gatwick Airport and the surrounding area from Surrey into West Sussex met some fierce local opposition with the result that the parishes of Horley and Charlwood were subsequently returned to Surrey in the eponymous Charlwood and Horley Act 1974, leaving the airport to stay in West Sussex.

The Horley Master Plan, which was approved by Reigate & Banstead Borough Council in February 2005, permits almost 2,600 new homes to be built. This prompted immediate controversy as the area as with most of non-metropolitan Surrey, i.e. since its reduction in 1974, is Metropolitan Green Belt however is permitted where in pursuance with the local plan, and meeting national criteria including demonstrating environmental sustainability and upholding the character of existing localities.


Horley is at an altitude of around 54 metres above mean sea level.

Salfords in the civil parish of Salfords and Sidlow, on the road to Redhill, is to the north and Gatwick Airport is between Horley and Crawley to the south. The village of Charlwood is to the west and Smallfield is to the east across the M23 Motorway.


Horley has been twinned with Vimy, France since 1991

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output area Detached Semi-detached Terraced Flats and apartments Caravans/temporary/mobile homes Shared between households
(Civil Parish) 2,463 3,111 1,456 2,011 8 8

The average level of accommodation in the region composed of detached houses was 28%, the average that was apartments was 22.6%.

2011 Census Key Statistics
Output area Population Households % Owned outright % Owned with a loan Hectares
(Civil Parish) 22,076 9,057 31.7% 39.3% 1,124

The proportion of households in the civil parish who owned their home outright compares to the regional average of 35.1%. The proportion who owned their home with a loan compares to the regional average of 32.5%. The remaining % is made up of rented dwellings (plus a negligible % of households living rent-free).

There has been a substantial increase in housing and population since 2011, including the large new development at Westvale Park north west of the town centre.

Culture and the arts

Horley is home to the Archway Theatre. Located under the arches of the Victoria Road railway bridge, the theatre consists of a bar, auditorium, studio theatre and rehearsal rooms. The main auditorium seats 95 and the studio seats 40. The company presents 10 full productions each year as well as a number of studio events and youth productions.

Archway Theatre, Horley
Entrance to the Archway Theatre, Horley, Surrey, UK.


Horley is served by Metrobus bus routes connecting with Redhill, Three Bridges, Crawley, East Grinstead, Caterham and Gatwick Airport, as well as the outlying villages of Charlwood and Smallfield.

Horley railway station is served by Southern on the Brighton Main Line.

Notable people

  • Jack Fairman was from Horley and has a pub named after him.
  • Robert Smith the founding member of The Cure lived in Horley as a child.
  • Lol Tolhurst is a former member of The Cure who was born and lived in the town.
  • Faye White the former captain of England Women's Football team was brought up in, and went to school in the town.
  • Robert Emms plays Pythagoras in BBC1's Atlantis. He was brought up in and went to school in the town.
  • Anthony Thornton lived in Horley, attending Court Lodge schools. He wrote the authoritative history of The Libertines in The Libertines Bound Together.
  • Robert Shearman writer of dark fantasy and Doctor Who, was brought up and lived in Horley.
  • Robert Baden-Powell Lived in Horley for two years from 1916 to 1918. He resided in Little Mynthurst in Smalls Hill Road.
  • Eddie Mooney vocalist with 60s bands the Fortunes and the Dakotas (band) has lived in Horley in recent years


At one time the airline Dan-Air had its head office in the now demolished Newman House in Horley.

Horley was home to the Matbro works which produced forklift trucks from the 1950s to the 1980s and pioneered telescopic handlers. The bright yellow Teleram 40 and Teleram C machines were very popular with farmers and construction companies.

Horley is the present home of Scotia Gas Networks.

Today, about a third of the population work locally, while another third commute south to Gatwick and Crawley, and the final third travel further to London, Redhill and Reigate.


Horley is the home town of Horley Town F.C. established in 1898. Horley has cricket, hockey, tennis, bowls, running and—since the first part of the 21st century—rugby union clubs.


Horley has one secondary school (Oakwood School), three primary schools (Manorfield, Trinity Oaks and Langshott), two junior schools (Yattendon and Meath Green Junior), and two infant schools (Meath Green Infants and Horley Infants). There is currently no sixth form provision, so most students go to Redhill, Crawley or Reigate (e.g. East Surrey College and Reigate College) to continue their studies.

All the local schools are part of the Horley Learning Partnership, a local educational confederation which enables schools to develop a range of shared services. It also runs the Horley SureStart centre.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Horley para niños

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