24-36 Bell Street, Reigate

Excavation by D W Williams for SCC, London & Metropolitan PLC and Reigate & Banstead BC of sites beneath the former showrooms of Reigate Garage. On the southern site there was little evidence for medieval activity except for an area of heat-reddened brickearth and associated shell-tempered pottery. The site was possibly cultivated until the late 16th century when a building was constructed of which fragments were identified between modern disturbances. This was probably a millhouse. On the southern edge of the site a stream channel was found with a massive mortared stone revetment of 12th or 13th century date. The earliest feature on the north showroom site was a probable BA pit. Pre-12th century plough or ard marks were identified sealed by a deposit (which included a sherd of Stamford ware) on which a post-built structure was erected. Although badly disturbed the remains suggested a two-bay structure, perhaps open-sided; it contained a grain drying or making kiln of which two phases were recognised. Archaeomagnetic dating suggests a date in the second half of the 12th century for the kiln. A chalk-floored building was then erected on the site c1200. South of this were the fragmentary remains of a substantial stone building. It overlay 13th century pits and had gone out of use by the 15th century. A well-constructed Reigate stone building was erected c1550-1600 on the site of the chalk-floored building; it was described as a brewhouse in 1786. It had a block parallel to the street and a wing to the rear and a very well made chimney. Its subsequent alterations were recorded. (243)