Priory Park, Reigate

Geophysical survey and evaluation by D Sykes of OA to inform a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the restoration and enhancement of the park landscape. The geophysical work provided generally disappointing and inconclusive results, especially around the area of the priory where it had been hoped that evidence for former monastic structures would be forthcoming, although magnetometry work on the summit of Park Hill did reveal a number of anomalies consistent with the presence of a Bronze Age site that is suspected to exist in the area. Evaluation trenching around the priory revealed rubble deposits that may account for false positives in the geophysical survey, although large wall foundations and four inhumations recorded in a trench immediately to the south of the priory may represent the remains of monastic date structures and burials. Evidence recorded in the wider park area suggested that some of the later landscape features may re-use medieval features. Later post-Dissolution features revealed during the works included structural evidence for a possible stable or gatehouse indicated on Rocque’s map of 1768, the remains of an avenue and structures depicted on a 1770 Estate map in the area of the present tennis courts, and numerous 18th and 19th century garden features, including a substantial ha-ha to the south of the present late 19th century sunken garden.
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