Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) is regarded as one of the greatest of English composers. He had close associations with the Surrey Hills having been brought up in the family home at Leith Hill Place high up in the Greensand Hills south of Dorking. In his later life he lived for many years in Dorking and was involved in the musical life of the town, founding the Leith Hill Music Festival. He loved the English countryside and his music was influenced by traditional English folk songs. His most famous work, The Lark Ascending, was inspired by the words of George Meredith’s poem with the same title written in 1881. Meredith lived in Flint Cottage situated at the foot of Box Hill.
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