Horley High Street.JPG
Horley High Street
Horley is located in Surrey
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0
Location within Surrey
Area11.24 km2 (4.34 sq mi)
Population22,076 (civil parish, 2011)[1] or 22,693 as to Built up Area[2]
• Density1,964/km2 (5,090/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTQ2843
Civil parish
  • Horley
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHORLEY
Postcode districtRH6
Dialling code01293
AmbulanceSouth East Coast
UK Parliament

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 water-logged clay 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.[3]

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.[4]

Horley 8 HP 2-seater (1904)

From 1904 until 1909 the Horley Motor & Engineering Co. manufactured cars and vans at their premises on Balcombe road. These were reportedly sold as Horley and No Name.

In 1908 the first scout patrol, the pewit patrol, was established. After gaining members this patrol formed 1st Horley scout group. In 2006 1st Horley merged with 2nd Horley due to a lack of leaders. Notably Robert Baden-Powell was briefly a resident of Horley. When he left for Kenya in 1938 he gifted a Malayan basket and autographed photograph of himself to the Scouts Horley District.[5][6]

Map of Horley from 1946

The Local Government Act 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.[7] 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.


The town is within the East Surrey constituency, currently represented by the Conservative MP Claire Coutinho.

Horley is part of the Borough of Reigate and Banstead, but also has a town council. The Town Mayor and Chairman of the Town Council for the year 2018-19 is Councillor David Powell.[8][9] In May 2016, the Conservative-led town council elected David Jackson as deputy mayor, even though he was at the time on bail and under investigation for sexually and indecently assaulting girls under the age of thirteen; he was subsequently convicted.[10][11]

Horley (along with Charlwood) was moved into West Sussex with Gatwick Airport by the Local Government Act 1972. Due to public opposition to these the changes, they were returned to Surrey in the Charlwood and Horley Act 1974, although the airport and Lowfield Heath stayed in West Sussex.[12]


Horley is at an altitude of around 54 metres above mean sea level.[13]

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 the town of Vimy, France[14] since 1991.

Demography and housing

2011 Census Homes
Output areaDetachedSemi-detachedTerracedFlats and apartmentsCaravans/temporary/mobile homesShared between households[1]
(Civil Parish)2,4633,1111,4562,01188

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 areaPopulationHouseholds% Owned outright% Owned with a loanHectares[1]
(Civil Parish)22,0769,05731.7%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.


At one time the airline Dan-Air had its head office in the now demolished Newman House in Horley.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

Culture and the arts

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

Horley is home to the Archway Theatre under the arches of the Victoria Road railway bridge. It 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.[18]


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.[19]

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


Horley has one secondary school (Oakwood School), three primary schools (Manorfield, Trinity Oaks and Langshott[20]), 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,[21] a local educational confederation which enables schools to develop a range of shared services. It also runs the Horley SureStart centre.


Horley is the home town of Horley Town F.C. established in 1898.[22] Horley has cricket, hockey, tennis, bowls, running[23] and—since the first part of the 21st century—rugby union clubs.[24]

Notable people

  • Jack Fairman was from Horley and has a pub named after him.[25]
  • Robert Smith the founding member of The Cure lived in Horley as a child.[26]
  • Lol Tolhurst is a former member of The Cure who was born and lived in the town.[27]
  • Faye White the former captain of England Women's Football team was brought up in, and went to school in the town.[28]
  • Robert Emms plays Pythagoras in BBC1's Atlantis. He was brought up in and went to school in the town.[29]
  • 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.[6]
  • Eddie Mooney vocalist with 60s bands the Fortunes and the Dakotas (band) has lived in Horley in recent years

See also


  1. ^ a b c Key Statistics; Quick Statistics: Population Density Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine United Kingdom Census 2011 Office for National Statistics Retrieved 21 November 2013
  2. ^ "Custom report - Nomis - Official Labour Market Statistics". Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ Peter C. Cox. "Thunderfield & Haroldslea". Horley Local History Society. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  4. ^ Horley Town Council - A profile of Horley Archived 23 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "1st & 2nd Horley Scouts - Coming Soon..." 12hs.org.uk. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  6. ^ a b "The Scouts & Horley". RH Uncovered. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  7. ^ Horley regeneration Plan
  8. ^ "Home - Horley Town Council". Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  9. ^ Horley Town Mayors Welcome Archived 3 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Seymour, Jenny (14 November 2018). "Ex-Horley councillor found guilty of child sex assaults". SurreyLive. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  11. ^ Seymour, Jenny (22 November 2018). "Council slammed for making sex offender deputy mayor while on bail". SurreyLive. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  12. ^ "CHARLWOOD AND HORLEY BILL (Hansard, 13 November 1973)". Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012. Charlwood and Horley Bill 1973
  13. ^ "Horley Climate". Met Office. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  14. ^ "Horley Vimy Twinning Association - Home". www.surreycommunity.info. Archived from the original on 13 February 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  15. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 25–31 March 1992. 75 Archived 2 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "SGN: Your gas. Our network. Contact SGN". www.sgn.co.uk. Archived from the original on 23 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  17. ^ Profile of the parish of Horley Archived 23 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Archway Theatre Horley". Archway Theatre Company. Archived from the original on 6 July 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  19. ^ "Route information: Metrobus". www.metrobus.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Langshott Primary School". education.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  21. ^ Horley Town Council Archived 11 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Horley Town FC history Archived 13 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Horley Harriers".
  24. ^ Sussex rugby news Archived 23 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ "Jack Fairman". historicracing.com. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  26. ^ Barbarian; Sutherland, Steve; Smith, Robert (1988). The Cure: Ten Imaginary Years. Zomba Books. p. 121. ISBN 0-946391-87-4.
  27. ^ Apter, Jeff (2009). Never Enough: the Story of The Cure. Omnibus Press. p. 42. ISBN 9780857120243. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  28. ^ "My Best Teacher". Times Educational Supplement. 21 May 2004. Archived from the original on 5 October 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  29. ^ Tom Van Klaveren (22 September 2017). "23 celebrities you might not know went to school in Surrey". surreymirror.co.uk. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.

External links

Media related to Horley at Wikimedia Commons

Media files used on this page

Surrey UK location map.svg
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0

Map of Surrey, UK with the following information shown:

  • Administrative borders
  • Coastline, lakes and rivers
  • Roads and railways
  • Urban areas

Equirectangular map projection on WGS 84 datum, with N/S stretched 160%

Geographic limits:

  • West: 0.87W
  • East: 0.08E
  • North: 51.50N
  • South: 51.05N
Archway Theatre, Horley.jpg
Author/Creator: John Cross, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Entrance to the Archway Theatre, Horley, Surrey, UK.
Author/Creator: unknown, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Horley 8 HP 2-seater (1904).jpg
Horley 8 HP 2-seater (1904)
Horley High Street.JPG
Author/Creator: Arriva436, Licence: CC BY 3.0
Horley High Street, Horley, Surrey, looking along the road from the junction with Victoria Road and Massetts Road.
Map of Horley from 1946 scale 1 inch to the mile scanned at 600DPI
Reigate and Banstead UK locator map.svg
Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, CC BY-SA 3.0

Map of Surrey, UK with Reigate and Banstead highlighted.

Equirectangular map projection on WGS 84 datum, with N/S stretched 160%