Weirleigh was a rambling neo-Gothic house, built alongside the road at Gedges hill, just North of Matfield in Kent. It was designed by the illustrator Harrison Weir in 1866 for his own use. The architects were Messrs. Wadmore & Baker, of 35 Great St. Helens, E.C.; the builders, Messrs. Penn Brothers, of Pembury, Kent. Weir eventually sold it to the Sassoon family and Siegfried Sassoon was born there in 1886, the house becoming the family home until the death of Sassoon's mother, Theresa, in 1947.
The house, and its Wealden location, were key in nurturing two sides of Sassoon's personality: the warrior hunter and the sensitive poet of rural life. The first two books of his autobiographical trilogy, The Old Century and Seven More Years and The Weald of Youth recount his growing up here, as does his better known 'fictional' autobiography Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man. He developed a great fondness for the house and its details, such as the massive 92 step staircase, which feature in some of his poems and link to memories of his childhood.
Amongst other literary connections to Weirleigh was the visit in 1916 of Robert Graves, not long after the death of Sassoon's younger brother Hamo, at Gallipoli.
Whilst Graves found the house to possess a “congenial atmosphere" he recounts in ‘Good-bye To All That’ being kept awake by "sudden rapping noises" and "diabolic yelling" which were Sassoon's mother trying to make contact, by sťance, with Hamo. The account upset Sassoon deeply, and whilst no fan of spiritualism, it caused a permanent rift between the two friends.