The three performance halls that sit at the eastern approach to Dorking were designed by Percy W. Meredith and opened in 1931. Local benefactors Ralph Vaughan Williams, Howard Martineau, (the sugar magnate), and the Duke of Newcastle (inheritor of the Hope fortune), were all instrumental in bringing the project to fruition.
The halls became famous for their long association with the composer Vaughan Williams, who lived at The White Gates just off Westcott Road. (Vaughan Way is on the site). The Leith Hill Musical Festival, at which he conducted and where many of his works were premiered, was founded by his sister Margaret and Lady Farrer of Abinger. A statue of the composer stands outside the Halls.