In 1793 the parishes of Reigate, Nutfield and Headley formed a Poor Law Union to provide a workhouse on 10 acres of Earlswood common.

It was completed in 1794 and provided accommodation for the poor, many of whom were old and infirm. Medical care was provided by local doctors but no nurses were employed until the 1840s, and a purpose built infirmary was provided in 1865.

The workhouse existed until 1936 when Surrey County Council took it over. By 1938/9 all the inmates had been moved to St Anne's. New buildings were erected and the old workhouse site with its infirmary became Surrey County Hospital, a name later changed to Redhill County Hospital.

With the advent of the National Health Service in 1948 the hospital was transferred away from Surrey County to the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board, and the new name of Redhill General Hospital came into being. The hospital previously referred to locally as The County, now became County General or just the General.

The General expanded considerably over the years, especially as it absorbed East Surrey Hospital's facilities when that hospital's own site became unable to support further expansion, but it, too, was to face closure for the very same reason.

In 1971 the news was that a huge new hospital was to be built in two phases south of Redhill, the first phase to be ready by 1979. Margaret Thatcher opened phase one in 1984 and in 1992, MP Virginia Bottomley opened phase two.

Now mostly demolished, the old Redhill (County) General is a walled housing estate.

l Article by Alan Moore, author of A History of Redhill volumes 1 and 2.