LINGFIELD and Dormansland are glued together by Lingfield racecourse. Lingfield is the larger and older of the two villages, with a population of about 5,000. There has been very little new development, so the marvellous collection of Tudor, Jacobean and Georgian properties remains intact, and many of the buildings are scheduled as ancient monuments. Modern interlopers include the occasional Thirties’ house and a small Eighties’ estate, including retirement properties.
The area is very popular with people who need to be close to Gatwick airport. Pilots, air hostesses and ground staff live here; so do many business travellers. There are excellent communications. The M25 is only eight minutes’ drive away and the M23 is also close by. Lingfield has a typical range of village shops, including two small supermarkets, a post office, a butcher and a baker. Next to the pond at the heart of the village is a strange stone structure roofed with iron bars. This is the so-called ‘cage’, built in 1473 and thought to have been used as a lock-up for poachers and drunkards.
House prices cover an enormous range, from a two-bedroom flat at £175,000 to a five- or six-bedroom detached family house in a couple of acres for £750,000 to £1m. There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ Lingfield house to extrapolate average prices from, but a three-bedroom Victorian semi might go for £250,000; a three-bedroom detached for £275,000. A two-bedroom terraced house in a new Argyll Homes development would cost £249,950. Houses at the top end of the market might come with their own equestrian facilities though the racecourse, one of the first in Britain to have an all-weather surface, has not attracted many trainers or jockeys to live in the area. The style is more Pony Club and conspicuous wealth. A Grade Two listed, five-bedroom property in nine acres, with a swimming pool, tennis court and paddocks, could fetch £975,000. The village has a primary school. Older children are bussed to Oxted.