19th Century

The earliest OS maps from 1868-1870 show The London-Brighton railway has been built, dividing the land of Whitebush Farm on London Road. The railway had been proposed several times, initially in 1823 for a horse-drawn line. In the early 1830s there were six different schemes proposed, now with steam locomotion. It was Sir John Rennie’s route that was approved and the London and Brighton Railway Co. was incorporated on 15 July 1837. Construction was awarded to John Rastrick and the line was opened as far as Haywards Heath on 12 July 1841 with a coach service to Brighton. The first train entered Brighton Railway Station on 21st September 1841. J&G Rennie, a company formed by Sir John Rennie and his brother, George, supplied three of the locomotives. Of the remainder 16 were supplied by Sharp, Roberts and Company, six by Edward Bury and Company, four by William Fairbairn. (A History of Redhill, Vol 1, Alan Moore and other sources linked. More detailed history at the Kent Past site.)

Bushfield Shaw, a wooded area where Bushfield Drive is now, is the main feature to the east of the railway and Hazelhurst Farm east of Mason’s Bridge Road. To the north, where the East Surrey Hospital is now located, is a Brick Field including a brickkiln and a Washing Mill.

A building is shown where Mayfield now stands but is not given a name.

The 1895 OS map shows more development in the area. The Reigate Isolation Hospital was built in 1884 to the South of Bushfield Shaw, where Jordans Close is now. This was funded jointly by Reigate Borough and the Reigate Rural Sanitary Authority. The 1891 Census lists the hospital as “Earlswood Common Infectious Hospital” and gives the superintendent as John Rogers of Cripplegate, London. His wife, Mary, is Matron and children, Daisy and Arthur, are also living with them. The patients include three members of the Waters family of Bletchingly and Mary Pierce of Nutfield.

There is a new Brick Field between Bushfield Shaw and the Railway, and Three Arch Road is named. Lavender Lodge has been built and Mayfield is named. The 1891 census shows Mayfield was occupied by Percival Berry, a merchant, his wife, Sarah, seven children, a governess and two servants. Mayfield Lodge was occupied by the groom/gardener and his wife, James and Charlotte Brooker.

Whitebush Farm in 1901 is occupied by Alfred and Mary Bashford and their son, uncle and a cousin.