The trust owns and manages many acres of land to the north and west of Coldharbour, including the sites of the cricket pitch and Leith Hill Tower. The land extends north towards Wotton and then on to the North Downs ridge.
The Tower at 1029 feet (314 ms) is the highest point in the south of England. Tickets, at £1.50 for adults and 80p for children, can be purchased from the servery to climb up to the roof in the 78 step spiral staircase, for magnificent views across thirteen counties. Two information rooms half way up had a complete makeover so do come and have a look.
The Tower can be reached with a moderately steep walk from the Landslip, Windy Gap, Rhododendron Wood or Starveall Corner car-parks around Leith Hill or by a fourty-five minute leisurely hike from the centre of Coldharbour.There are four waymarked trails centred on the Tower one of which goes to Leith Hill Place and passes by The Green Escape glamping holiday accommodation.
Volunteers have constructed oak benches around the base of the Tower for visitors to rest in comfort.
Servery: It is under the management of Julie Day from Tanhouse Farm Shop, Newdigate serving delicious homemade cakes, sandwiches, hot pasties, soup and sausage rolls along with fruit drinks, real coffee and fair-trade tea in proper china mugs, to consume on-site or take away. The opening times (later in fine weather) are 10 - 3 during the week and 9 - 5 at weekends and bank holidays, full details can be found here.
History: Originally called Prospect House or Tower, it was built in 1765 by Richard Hull who lived at nearby Leith Hill Place. The eccentric Georgian built the folly based on a typical 14th century Wealden Tower, he was buried underneath it, see this article. Many hollows can be seen in the nearby slopes and it is thought that the materials needed to build the Tower were quarried on site. In 1796 extensive refurbishments were commissioned by Mr William Perrin in order to increase the height to over 1000 feet. The Tower became a delapidated shell over the next period until 1864 when Mr W Evelyn of nearby Wotton House funded the reopening and built the upper room and added the battlements. It was donated to the National Trust in 1923 by Mr W J MacAndrew and was adopted in 1966 as a Grade II listed building by English Heritage. The tower was fully restored in 1984 which included the removal of rubble and concrete, fitting safety features such as a handrail besides the narrow staircase and converting the lower portion of the tower into a servery. During this work Richard Hull's tomb was discovered dispelling any rumours that he had never been there at all.
If you have ideas as to how the Tower or surroundings can be improved or you would like to donate to its upkeep then please contact the local rangers.
National Trust Contacts:
24-hour emergency line 01372 540221
Area Ranger, Leith Hill, Rhododendron Wood and Estate - Francisco Martinez. Office: 01306 712711, Mobile: 07785 771509, Email
Temp replacement Ranger, Leith Hill - Jon Webb. Office 01306 712711, Email.
Area Ranger, Holmwood Common and Henman Basecamp - Rob Adam. Office: 01306 712711, Mobile: 07901 511359, Email
Lead Ranger, Leith Hill and Holmwood Common - Nicky Scott. Office: 01306 712711, Mobile: 07484 088875, Email
Countryside Manager, Surrey Hills West - Paul Redsell. Office: 01306 711777, Mobile: 07770 887675, Email
General Manager, Surrey Hills - Stephanie Fudge. Office: 01372 220641, Mobile: 07770 887684, Email
Leith Hill Place - Office: 01306 711685, Email