|Architectural style||Georgian country house|
|Town or city||Berkshire|
Tittenhurst Park is a Grade II listed early Georgian country house set in 72 acres (29 hectares) off London Road at Beggar's Bush near Ascot and over the parish border into Sunningdale, both in the English county of Berkshire. It was famously the home of musicians John Lennon and Yoko Ono from the late summer of 1969 until August 1971, and then the home of Ringo Starr and family from 1973 until 1988. Starr sold the property to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, in 1989.
The present house dates back to 1737, although its fronts are largely c. 1830.
In 1869, the property was owned by Thomas Holloway,philanthropist and founder of two large institutions which he built nearby: Holloway Sanatorium in Virginia Water, Surrey, and Royal Holloway College, now known as Royal Holloway, University of London in Englefield Green. About 1898, the house was purchased by Thomas Hermann Lowinsky, the former general manager of the Hyderabad (Deccan) Co coal mines in India. He was an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society and won their gold medal for his rhododendrons, an outstanding collection of which he built up at Tittenhurst, including one he named 'Mrs Tom Lowinsky'. Amongst Lowinsky's children who grew up at the park was his daughter, Xenia Noelle Field, the prison reformer and horticulturist, and surrealist artist Thomas Esmond Lowinsky.
Lennon purchased the property after the sale of Kenwood in Weybridge, Surrey, his earlier home with first wife Cynthia Lennon, because of its resemblance to Calderstones House in Liverpool, where he had spent time as a child. Lennon bought the house for £150,000 from the estate of Ron Blindellwho had purchased it from Peter Cadbury in 1964. The estate included gardens, a Tudor cottage and servants' cottages. He and Ono spent twice the purchase price on renovations, transforming the interior of the house to their liking, commissioning a set of hand-woven Asian rugs, and installing a man-made lake without planning permission which they could see from their bedroom window.
In response to a request from George Harrison, Lennon allowed members of the Radha Krishna Temple to stay on the estate before they could move into their London temple.The devotees, who also recorded with Harrison for Apple Records, lived in the former servants' quarters on the property and assisted with renovations. When their leader, Swami Prabhupada, first visited England in September 1969, he also stayed at Tittenhurst Park at Lennon's invitation. A recording of Prabhupada's philosophical discussion with Lennon, Ono and Harrison, held in the recital hall in the grounds of Tittenhurst Park, was later made available as Lennon '69: Search for Liberation, the first publication in the Vedic Contemporary Library Series. Following this meeting, the recital hall became known as "the Tittenhurst Temple".
The last Beatles photo session took place at Tittenhurst Park on 22 August 1969, and the photos were used for the front and back covers of their Hey Jude album (a collection of single sides) early in 1970. Also during that year, and in the wake of the Beatles' break-up, Lennon engaged Eddie Veale to build his own recording studio, dubbed Ascot Sound Studios, in the estate grounds, where he and Ono recorded much of their 1971 solo albums. The matching cover photos of the couple's twin Plastic Ono Band albums were taken at Tittenhurst by the pair, using an Instamatic camera, and portions of the Imagine film-length video, which included selections from the Fly album, were also filmed in the grounds. The interior was also used as the backdrop for the film that was used to promote the single "Imagine", with Ono seen opening the window shutters as Lennon plays a white grand piano.
During 1970 and 1971, Lennon and Ono began to visit the United States, first for primal therapy at Arthur Janov's Primal Institute in California, then for child custody hearings over Ono's daughter Kyoko Chan Cox, in Houston and New York City. Ono had spent her late teens and twenties living in New York (including Scarsdale and Greenwich Village), and preferred there to England. They rented a Bank Street apartment late in 1970 and, on 31 August 1971, the Lennons moved to New York City permanently. John would never return to England.
Tittenhurst was Grade II listed for its architectural merit in March 1972.
In 2004, Peter Dennison, owner of French furniture firm Moth, offered for sale one of the original lavatory seats from Tittenhurst Park. It was displayed in the window of the Brighton Musical Exchange shop in Trafalgar Street, Brighton. Dennison had bought the seat when his architectural salvage firm was offered furniture by the contractors doing the renovations at Tittenhurst Park. The asking price was £285.
In 2010, the lavatory itself was offered for sale at auction in aid of the Paul McCartney Auditorium at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Lennon told builder John Hancock to keep the ceramic lavatory and "use it as a plant pot" after he had installed a new one. It was stored in a shed at Hancock's home for 40 years until he died. The lot had an estimate of £750–1,000. Also offered for sale was a mono copy of Two Virgins , recorded at Kenwood (estimate £2,500) and Julian Lennon's harmonica, given to Mr Hancock by the musician who asked him to take it home as "Julian was driving him mad with it". Lennon told Mr Hancock he would tell Julian it was lost (estimate £750–1,000).
In December 2015, several additional items from Tittenhurst Park were put up for sale as part of the Ringo Starr & Barbara Bach Auction held by Julien's Auctions. These items were originally owned by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and were included in the sale of Tittenhurst Park to Ringo Starr in 1973. Items included several carved bust statues depicted on the Hey Jude album cover, a wood refectory table and benches, a stone garden bench, several stained glass panels and a mirror panel with floral and foliate silver overlay.
Ascot Sound Studios (ASS) was a recording studio built by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1970, on the grounds of Tittenhurst Park.
Lennon built the studio, which featured eight recording tracks on one-inch open-reel tape and a sixteen-channel mixing console, so that he and Ono could record without the inconvenience of having to book studio time at Abbey Road or another location. Lennon recorded much of his 1971 album Imagine at ASS, with Phil Spector and Ono as his co-producers. George Harrison played on several songs, including "How Do You Sleep?", which criticised his and Lennon's former bandmate Paul McCartney. Ringo Starr visited the studio during the recording of the song and was reportedly upset, saying: "That's enough, John."The album sessions were extensively filmed, and the footage appears in both the Imagine: John Lennon documentary and a separate documentary about the making of the album.
Recorded at the same time as Imagine was Ono's album Fly (whose title song was the soundtrack to their film of the same name), and these appear to be the last recordings the couple completed at the studio.
Deciding to stay long-term in the United States, Lennon sold Tittenhurst Park to his former bandmate Ringo Starr, who purchased the property on 18 September 1973.Starr renamed the studio "Startling Studios" and made the facility available for use by other recording artists. Portions of T. Rex's film Born to Boogie were shot there, Judas Priest planned to record their British Steel album at Startling Studios, but found the house itself more suitable, and moved recording equipment there. Judas Priest's live album Unleashed in the East was also mixed and completed there. Def Leppard's 1980 debut album On Through the Night was also recorded there.
In 1988, Starr sold the property for £5 million to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, former President of the United Arab Emirates and former ruler of Abu Dhabi. Zayed also owned Park Gate House in Ham, south west London, and would buy another property in Berkshire, Ascot Place, the year after his purchase of Tittenhurst.During Zayed's subsequent renovations of Tittenhurst between 1989 and 1993, Startling Studios were demolished. The property was restored and improved and the quality of the workmanship employed is evident that 30 years later the proprty remains in excellent condition.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan died on 2 November 2004. The property remain in the ownership of the Al Nahyan Family.
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is the debut solo studio album by English musician John Lennon. Backed by the Plastic Ono Band, it was released by Apple Records on 11 December 1970 in tandem with the similarly titled album by his wife, Yoko Ono. At the time of its issue, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band received mixed reviews overall, but later came to be widely regarded as Lennon's best solo album.
Klaus Otto Wilhelm Voormann is a German artist, musician, and record producer.
251 Menlove Avenue is the childhood home of the Beatles' John Lennon. Located in the Woolton suburb of Liverpool, it was named Mendips after the Mendip Hills. The Grade II listed building is preserved by the National Trust.
Apple Records is a record label founded by the Beatles in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, Billy Preston. In practice, the roster had become dominated by the mid-1970s with releases of the former Beatles as solo artists. Allen Klein managed the label from 1969 to 1973, then it was managed by Neil Aspinall on behalf of the Beatles and their heirs. Aspinall retired in 2007 and was replaced by Jeff Jones.
Imagine is the second solo studio album by British musician John Lennon, released on 9 September 1971 by Apple Records. Co-produced by Lennon, his wife Yoko Ono and Phil Spector, the album's elaborate sound contrasts the basic, small-group arrangements of his first album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970), while the opening title track is widely considered to be his signature song.
"How Do You Sleep?" is a song by British rock musician John Lennon from his 1971 album Imagine. The song makes angry and scathing remarks aimed at his former Beatles bandmate and songwriting partner, Paul McCartney. Lennon wrote the song in response to what he perceived as personal slights by McCartney on the latter's Ram album. The track includes a slide guitar solo played by George Harrison and was co-produced by Lennon, Phil Spector and Yoko Ono.
John Lennon Anthology is a four-CD box set of home demos, studio outtakes and other previously unreleased material recorded by John Lennon over the course of his solo career from "Give Peace a Chance" in 1969 up until the 1980 sessions for Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey.
Thomas Holloway was an English patent medicine vendor and philanthropist.
The Plastic Ono Band was a rock band formed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 for their collaborative and solo projects based on their 1968 Fluxus conceptual art project of the same name.
"I've Got a Feeling" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1970 album Let It Be. It was recorded on 30 January 1969 during the Beatles' rooftop concert. It is a combination of two unfinished songs: Paul McCartney's "I've Got a Feeling" and John Lennon's "Everybody Had a Hard Year". The song features Billy Preston on electric piano.
Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is the debut solo studio album by Japanese artist and musician Yoko Ono, released on Apple Records in December 1970 alongside her husband's album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Ono's album features her vocal improvisations against backing by the Plastic Ono Band, with the exception of the track "AOS", which is backed by the Ornette Coleman Quartet.
Imagine is a 1972 feature-length music film by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, filmed at their Tittenhurst Park home in Ascot, England, and in various locations in London and New York between May and September 1971. All the songs from Lennon's 1971 Imagine album appear in the soundtrack, and also the songs "Mrs. Lennon", "Mind Train", "Don't Count the Waves" and "Midsummer New York" from Ono's 1971 album FLY.
Kenwood is a house on the St George's Hill estate, Weybridge, Surrey, England. Originally called the Brown House, it was designed by architect T. A. Allen, and built in 1913 by Love & Sons, a local building firm. The estate was constructed around the Weybridge Golf Club, which was designed in 1912 by Harry Colt.
Kinfauns was a large 1950s deluxe bungalow in Esher in the English county of Surrey, on the Claremont Estate. From 1964 to 1970, it was the home of George Harrison, lead guitarist of the Beatles. It was where many of the demo recordings for the band's 1968 self-titled double album were made. The bungalow has since been demolished, and another house built in its place.
"I'm the Greatest" is a song written by English musician John Lennon that was released as the opening track of the 1973 album Ringo by Ringo Starr. With Starr, Lennon and George Harrison appearing on the track, it marks the only time that three former Beatles recorded together between the band's break-up in 1970 and Lennon's death in 1980. Lennon wrote the song in December 1970 as a wry comment on his rise to fame, and later tailored the lyrics for Starr to sing. Named after one of Muhammad Ali's catchphrases, the song partly evokes the stage-show concept of the Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
"Grow Old with Me" is one of the final songs written by John Lennon. It was recorded by Lennon as a demo while in Bermuda in 1980, and later appeared on the posthumous album Milk and Honey in 1984. It was also allegedly planned as a possible reunion single by his former bandmates during the making of The Beatles Anthology.
Imagine: John Lennon is a 1988 documentary film about English musician John Lennon. It was released on 7 October 1988, two days before Lennon's 48th birthday.
After the break-up of the Beatles in April 1970, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr enjoyed success as solo artists and collaborated with each other on numerous occasions, including on both studio and live recordings. However, none of these collaborations included all four members, with the exception of "Free as a Bird" (1994), "Real Love" (1995) and "Now and Then" (2023).
The Beatles Tapes from the David Wigg Interviews is an audio album of interviews with each of the four members of the Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. British journalist David Wigg interviewed the individual Beatles at various points from December 1968 or January 1969 to December 1973, and excerpts from some of these recordings constitute the album's spoken words. Although he was a columnist for the London newspaper The Evening News, most of the interviews were recorded for the BBC Radio 1 series Scene and Heard. Interspersed among the interview excerpts are instrumental performances of Beatles songs played by other musicians. The Beatles tried to prevent the album's publication, but it was released in the United Kingdom on 30 July 1976 under the Polydor label and in the United States in 1978. Both George and Ringo did attempt to sue the Recording label, however, both of them lost the case because the interviews were done on public radio on the BBC.
John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky is a documentary film that aired on Channel 4 in November 2018 and the A&E Network in March 2019. The focus of the documentary is John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's relationship up to that point and how it impacted the Imagine album recorded in 1971 at their Tittenhurst Park home in Ascot, England. Video footage not previously presented to the public is made available. Present day interviews with former bandmates and others involved in Lennon's and Ono's lives at the time are included in the film.