Maltsters, Brewers, Blacksmiths and Whitesmiths
Reigate and Redhill
This page was developed following a request for information from Julie of Redhill. It is all I have on the subject at the moment but will hopefully be expanded as more information comes to light.


The Old Wheel in Church Street, Reigate, was once the property of a maltster named Edward Larmer. His malt house was also in Church Street but the Old Wheel, here seen as a restaurant in the 1930s or 40s, was once his stores and the wheel was used in the lifting and lowering of grain.
(pictures from author's own collection)


By the 1890s Mellersh and Neale's Reigate brewery, viewed above from the south, had already been established for almost a century. It boasted the most up to date methods, the use of the most carefully selected hops and malt, and a supply of pure chalk water running from springs at the base of Reigate Hill to the premises. Its cellars, the caves in Tunnel Road could hold many thousands of barrels of ale.
(picture from the 1891 business guide to Redhill and Reigate)


This was supplied by Dave Massie who is descended from the Hewett family, a long line of Blacksmiths that owned the smithy from 1750-1950. John Hewet (1680?-?) apprenticed his son George (1722-1800) to be a blacksmith in 1737. He was the founder of the family firm, which was passed to John Hewett (1756-1832),  Benjamin (1802-1880),  Henry (1844-1930) and finally William Frank Hewett (1874-1950). It was sold up in 1950.
Dave also supplied this extract from a Surrey Mirror article
dated 6 Aug 1972 or 1973, by Guy Bingham
'Lost Gift from a Poetess':\
On her mother's side Mrs Dedman comes from a family, the Hewetts, who have been in Redhill since 1730. Her grandfather Henry Hewett was owner of a smithy in Hooley Lane, Redhill, and did wrought iron work for the artist Linnels and other residents in the large houses in that part of Redhill. "He was a great book-lover" his granddaughter told me, and when he wasn't working on a job you would be likely to find him sitting with one of Charles Dickens's novels on his knee. He was a relative of the Trowers of Wiggie, and a friend of the family was Eliza Cook, the poet, who stayed with them. I used to have a book inscribed 'From your loving friend Eliza Cook' or something to that effect, but I can't find it now. It may have been thrown out when we moved house - I know I did get rid of some books then".\ Mrs Dedman also admitted (to my sorrow) that a great many photographs of Redhill as it used to be had shared the same fate, but she was able to show me a picture of Mill Street (what is now upper Hooley Lane) dated 1830. In the foreground is the original Marquis of Granby public house and at the top\line of bare hills behind is a large
(here the cutting ends)
Eliza Cook, poetess is referred to in Chapter 1 of A history of Redhill and if Mrs Dedman lost a book from her that is a great tragedy. The picture referred to can be seen on this website on the 'Pubs of Redhill page under 'Marquis of Granby'

Picture courtesy David Massie

See the 'Pubs of Redhill' page under Marquis of Granby' for another view of this building in a painting depicting the scene at the top end of Hooley Lane, Redhill


Blacksmiths Mr Edwards and Mr George Booker (smoking) are shown at work in a forge said to have been situated at 40, Bell Street, Reigate, and that the gates for the Bell Street entrance to the Priory (mentioned in the article about Lady Henry Somerset on another page) were made here. The lower picture is a wider view of the forge. Date is unknown but possibly around the turn of the century. (Pictures courtesy Surrey Mirror)


Identified by one source as Heath's the plumbers, and in Alan Ingram's book 'Reflections of Yesterday' as a Whitesmiths with Mr Norris the Smithy standing in the doorway, it was probably both at different times. This picture was taken before 1901 as the lane to the right of the shop was at this time developed into Castlefield Road when the Town Hall was built. The Road curving to the left in front of the shop is Church Street and leads down into the town. The building seen here and the trees behind it were recently the site of Redlands offices, now replaced by a new office building. The entrance on the right would have led into the Reigate Lodge estate but now is the entrance to the 6th Form College
(picture from author's own collection

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