Leith Hill Place: early history

A view of Leith Hill Place from the estate grounds © Andrew Butler

A view of Leith Hill Place from the estate grounds

Leith Hill Place is an elegant 17th-century property, which was added to and improved in the 18th century by General John Folliot. 

The estate grew to become a landscape of natural splendour and includes a ha-ha, lime avenue and extensive tree planting.

Influential owners of Leith Hill Place

Some of the country’s most influential families have lived at Leith Hill Place. Their lineage includes the names of Wedgwood and Vaughan Williams, and these people are now woven deeply into the place’s history.

A close relative of the Wedgwood family, the English naturalist Charles Darwin, frequently stayed at Leith Hill Place. While here, he conducted research around the estate and his ‘worm-stone’ still sits within the grounds today.

Ralph Vaughan Williams, the English composer, was the last member of the family to own Leith Hill Place. He gave it to us in 1944.

The house will open to the public this summer and autumn for the first time since the 1960s when the Wedgwood family used several rooms to display pottery items and a dolls' house. Until then, you can take a peek at the house while walking the woodland trail.