|Elevation||294 m (965 ft)|
|Prominence||249 m (817 ft)|
|Listing||Marilyn, County Top|
|Topo map||OS Landranger 187|
Leith Hill to the south west of Dorking, Surrey, England, reaches 294 metres (965 ft) above sea level, the highest point on the Greensand Ridge, and is either the highest or second highest point in south-east England, depending on whether Walbury Hill near Hungerford, West Berkshire, 297 metres (974 ft) high, is included in southeast England.
On the summit of Leith Hill is an 18th century Gothic tower, with panoramic views northwards to London and the English Channel to the south. Richard Hull of nearby Leith Hill Place (once home to the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams) built "Prospect House" in the years 1765 to 1766, later to become known as Leith Hill Tower, with the intention of raising the hill above 1,000 ft (305 m) above sea level. The tower is 19.5 metres (64 ft) high and consisted of two rooms "neatly furnished", with a Latin inscription above the door announcing that it had been built for not only his own pleasure, but also for the enjoyment of others. Hull provided visitors with prospect glasses, similar to a small telescope, through which to survey the extensive views towards London and the English Channel, each some 25 miles (40 km) away, and thirteen counties on a very clear day.
When he died in 1772, at his request he was buried under the tower. Following his death, the building was stripped of its contents, doors and windows, and fell into ruin. As a result the tower was filled with rubble and concrete, and the entrance bricked up.
In 1864, Mr Evelyn of nearby Wotton House decided to reopen it, but the concrete made this difficult, and so the additional turreted side-tower was added to allow access to the top of the tower.
The tower was fully restored by the National Trust in 1984. This restoration included the removal of rubble and concrete, fitting safety features such as a handrail along the narrow staircase and converting the lower portion of the tower into a national trust shop. Leith Hill Tower is open to the public (weekends throughout the year, and Wednesdays and Fridays in summer), with a comprehensive display explaining the history of the tower and giving opinions and memories of local people.