Mosses Wood at Leith Hill

Aerial view of Leith Hill Tower

Mosses Wood measures 69 acres. It's home to some spectacular specimen trees which make up part of an arboretum. Many of the trees at Mosses Wood are pines, the oldest of which were planted in the mid 1800s by local resident Alexander Hargreaves Brown who created an avenue of trees leading to home at Broome Hall. More recently, in 1995, the National Trust planted 100 trees to celebrate the centenary of the National Trust.

How we came to look after the wood

Mosses wood was donated to us by Lady Edith Ivy Pigott-Brown in memory of her son Captain Sir John Pigott-Brown who was killed in action in Tunisia on Christmas Day 1942.

This was the second time that tragedy had struck her family; her husband Captain Hagreaves Brown was killed during the First World War. At the southern edge of Mosses Wood you will find a gate built in memory of Captain Pigott-Brown.

Captain Hargreaves Brown

After attending Sandhurst,  Captain Brown was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1900 and served in South Africa between 1901-1902. He married Edith Ivy on 18th October 1910 at the Guards Chapel in Wellington Barracks, London.

At the outbreak of the First World War,  Captain Brown was part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and was deployed to France with the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.

Captain Brown was killed in action during the 1st Battle of Ypres on 29th October 1914. His body was never recovered and his name is enscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres.

Captain Sir John Piggot-Brown

During the Second World War, Captain Pigott-Brown was deployed to France under the BEF to halt the German Blitzkrieg in the summer of 1940.  He received a gunshot wound to his head in Belgium and was sent back to UK shortly before the evacuation of Dunkirk.

In November 1942, he was deployed to North Africa. He was killed in action on Christmas Day during the first battle of Longstop Hill.

Like his father in 1914 his final resting place is unknown and he is remembered at The Medjez-El-Bab memorial in Tunisia. 

Peace and reflection

Mosses Wood and the countryside around Leith Hill offer a great opportunity for peaceful walks. Follow the pink way-marked trail  along a footpath to Frank’s Wood. Named after National Trust woodsman Frank Longhurst who planted the oak trees in 1949, this walk is particularly beautiful in spring when the bluebells are in flower.

This area is particularly prone to landslips due to its geology; the first of which is believed to have occurred when Elizabeth I was on the throne. Most recently, in 2000, the land slipped again causing damage to the road; the slip created the "landslip" car park.