Photo: National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
Visitors are being welcomed into the childhood home of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams for the first time in 40 years, thanks to the National Trust.
Leith Hill Place in Surrey was given to the trust in 1944 by the composer, who spent his childhood there.
‘This is such an exciting time for the National Trust and for Leith Hill Place,’ said visitor operations manager, Gabrielle Gale. ‘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 a 17th-century house that was added to and improved in the 18th century by General John Folliot. As well as being home to Vaughan Williams, Leith Hill Place was also home to members of the Wedgwood family and Charles Darwin was a frequent visitor to the house.
Inside the house there will be a guided sound installation in the attic called ‘The Life and Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams’.
The house will also host concerts, the first of which will take place on 31 August with a programme including Vaughan Williams’s Romance and Pastorale and The Lark Ascending.
Karen Fletcher, publicity officer for the Ralph Vaughan Williams society, 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.’
More information is available on the National Trust’s website.