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Find this image on  London Road, Reigate  Reigate's caves  and publisher The Illustrated London News 

Image number 2838
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Fall of cottages into a sand cave at Reigate. May 19 1860. The Illustrated London News. "On the morning of Wednesday week the inhabitants of Reigate were alarmed by a loud report, which at first was believed to be the shock of an earthquake, but it was soon ascertained that it arose from a large sand cave belonging to the premises of the Red Cross Inn having fallen in. Over this cave there were erected several cottages, and five of these, or at least portions of them, fell in with the cave, and ten others appeared to be hanging as it were by a mere thread. The escape of persons (twenty-three in number) who resided in the cottages was marvellous. The bedsteads in four of the cottages were partly hanging over the chasm, and in one of them a poor woman was lying very ill, her medical attendment having just left her. She was taken out of the front window. The inhabitants of Reigate have kindly got up a subscription in aid of the poor people who have had their furniture destroyed by this singular accident."
Comment 1

Bruce Richardson from Heswall posted this comment on Friday 01 February 2013 22:07:00.

I remember hearing that back in Victorian times you could get bed and board in the Red Cross in return for working in the sand mines.

When I was growing up in the 1980's it was a right of passage to go down the caves illicitly. The entrance was behind the advertising hoardings next to Reigate Exhausts, it was sealed up not long after.



This image was uploaded on Saturday 08 November 2003 15:20:46.

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