Fengates Road, Redhill is in itself unremarkable: an early example of infill residential development.


Introduction PART ONE

Fengates Road, Redhill is in itself unremarkable: an early example of infill residential development snaking its 250m south-easterly course between the major thoroughfare of the A25 (Hatchlands Road) and the ancient highway of Linkfield Street. Nevertheless the road has an interesting history to recount from early references to the Fengates Estate, through accounts of life in the hamlet of Linkfield Street, the development of the road itself in the late 19th/early 20th century and the subsequent history of its houses and their occupants.

One of the distinguishing features of the road is its residents’ strong sense of community. Throughout its existence many families have remained for several decades and some houses have had only three or four owners. Unusually the community spirit continues to the present day and is typified by the millennium celebration street party of Saturday 24th June, 2000. These celebrations, coupled with the approximate centenary of the road, have provided the catalyst for undertaking the research and producing this document.

Whilst dates and facts have provided a black-and-white framework, colour has been added by incorporating historical accounts and personal reminiscences. Contemporary records and accounts of events in the year 2000 have been included to complete the picture and provide both a reference and memento for the future.

Production has been a collaborative effort with contributions from current and former residents, together with research of original material held at The Surrey History Centre, The Holmesdale Natural History Society and the Redhill Centre for Local and Family History. A list of specific acknowledgements is provided separately. We have also been fortunate that the early history is closely associated with Thomas Rowland Hooper. As expanded in chapter two, T.R. Hooper was a local resident and, as borough surveyor and distinguished architect, made a significant contribution to the development of Redhill in general and Fengates Road in particular. However, it is for his interest in researching and recording local history that we should be most grateful.

His introduction to a historical and topographical account of the borough, published in 1885 concludes: “Made accessible by a convenient railway service, the natural beauties and healthfulness of the neighbourhood have attracted notice, and the latter has been supplemented by a complete sanitary system. The advantages of the country are available with the conveniences of a town where residential expenses are normal; while the distance from London prevents the spoilation that has marred so many once-pleasant suburbs”. Fortunately these sentiments prevail today.

OS map of 1896

Extract from the Ordnance Survey Map of 1896.
The houses on the newly created Fengates and
Charman roads are under construction.
Ordnance Survey