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Hear Vaughan Williams in his own home

The National Trust are opening it to the public for the first time in 40 years.

rvw leith hill place



The National Trust opens the doors of Leith Hill Place, Surrey,
the childhood home of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Opening times for 2013: every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 11am to 5pm, from 26th July to 3rd November 2013
Tel: 01306 712711 email:
The National Trust has provided the following information:
The National Trust is proud to be welcoming the public to Leith Hill Place in Surrey for the first time in nearly forty years.  An atmospheric house with panoramic views across the Surrey countryside, Leith Hill Place was the childhood home of Ralph Vaughan Williams, who gave it to the National Trust in 1944.
There’s very little left of the grandeur of the original house, but what you will see is a house in transition; come with an open mind during this trial season and you’ll be encouraged to give your feedback as to how the house should be used in the future.  As well as the magnificent views and stunning high-ceilinged rooms, there will be sound recordings to listen to, pianos to play and hands-on family activities.  Drop in for a cup of tea, immerse yourself in the attic sound-scape tour or join an event to learn more about the history of the house and the music that was inspired by its surroundings.
Visitor Operations Manager, Gabrielle Gale says “this is such an exciting time for the National Trust and for Leith Hill Place. It’s a chance to breathe life and laughter into a house that’s been closed up for some time.  We hope that visitors will drop in as curious bystanders and leave as firm friends with a passion for this amazing house”.
Leith Hill Place is an elegant 17th-century property, which was added to and improved in the 18th century by General John Folliot. Leith Hill estate grew to become a landscape of natural splendour and includes a ha-ha, lime avenue and extensive tree planting. 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.

The Ralph Vaughan Williams Society has been working with the National Trust’s Visitor Operations Manager in helping to provide materials and recordings for use.  A sound-scape – ‘the Life and Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ – is a guided sound installation in the attics, with the voice talents of Brian Kay and Virginia McKenna, open by timed ticket.  Publicity Officer for the Vaughan Williams Society, Karen Fletcher, said “It will be wonderful to discover all the important family connections concerning Ralph’s celebrated relations as well as seeing the attic rooms which were his nursery and where he had his first music lessons, as well as hearing about those members of the staff who were first influential in his life, including his passionately radical nurse.  This is also a beautiful area for walking or a picnic and the view from the house itself is superb.”

Free admission to National Trust members; £3 for non-members.  Car parking is at the Rhododendron Wood car park, Tanhurst Lane, RH5 6LU and is free to NT members or £3.50 for non-members. Please note that there is a walk of 400m to the house through a field.
vaughan williams cat
photo (c) Lebrecht Music&Arts
First concerts at Leith Hill Place
The Vaughan Williams Society is organising two concerts in collaboration with the National Trust and tickets will be on sale from the National Trust’s website and on the door, although we advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment as space is limited. Tickets will be £15.00 to include interval drink.  Any enquiries relating to the concerts in the meantime should be directed to the RVW Society Publicity Officer at:
i. Saturday 31st August, 6.30pm
A programme of works by Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Ravel given by a talented student from the Royal College of Music.
Vaughan Williams: Romance and Pastorale
Elgar: Chanson de Matin
Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Piano
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Jessica Coleman, violin
Alison Rhind, piano
£15.00 to include interval drink  Tickets in advance and on the door, subject to space.
ii. Saturday 14th September, 6.30pm
An opportunity to hear the pianist Rebeca Omordia, currently touring with Julian Lloyd-Webber, in a programme of works by Vaughan Williams to include selected dances from ‘Job’, and other composers associated with him, including Ireland’s sparkling ‘Decorations’ and Ravel’s masterly ‘Gaspard de la Nuit’.
William Lloyd Webber: A Song for the Morning; Willow Song
Bliss: Suite for Piano: (I) Overture (IV) Variations; Miniature Scherzo
Ireland: Columbine; Amberley Wild Brooks; Decorations (The Island Spell; Moonglade; The Scarlet Ceremonies)
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’ (piano arr.); Job – A Masque for  Dancing (piano arr. by Vally Lasker): ‘Satan’s Dance of triumph’; ‘Alter Dance and Heavenly Pavane’
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit (Ondine; Le Gibet; Scarbo)
Vaughan Williams: ‘The Lake in the Mountains’
Rebeca Omordia, piano
£15 to include interval drink.  Tickets in advance and on the door, subject to space.
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