Over the gate...

Designed in 1913 by Victorian/Edwardian/other architect Theophilus A Allen; John Lennon's house between 1964 and 1968; sunroom, attic and prisco stripe hibernice; Mellotron and caravan; Babidji and Mimi; mortar and pestle; Wubbleyoo Dubbleyoo; curios and curiosity; remnants and residue; testimonials and traces; (Cavendish Avenue, Sunny Heights and Kinfauns); Montagu Square; mock Tudor: Brown House: *KENWOOD*.

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Monday, 28 September 2009

Kenwood: attic layout, 1965-1968.

We have seen the photo of John with his outsize horn before - but, crucially, not uncropped - and it's the extra portion which, at long last, reveals how the attic was laid out, post-renovation, during the Lennon-era; something which has been a puzzle since the inception of this gibberish.
Pauline Lennon, who lived in this part of the house for at least a couple of months at the end of 1967, recalls staying in a bedroom which opened onto a living room. She also mentions the studio, and the upper attic itself, which was where John's felines were housed.
The shape of the window evident in the new photo means it can only have been taken in the attic, facing north - and the Partridge plan confirms this. John is, therefore, seen here with his back to the attic hall corridor, standing in the room next to the studio:

Thus, the layout of the attic would have been as follows:

One of the unmarked rooms above would have been the living room Pauline referred to - probably the room John is seen standing in. Compare with the 1964, pre-renovation layout:

The wall between the kitchen and bath no. 3 was knocked down to form a larger room, which became John's studio. (Incidentally, I also have a plan from 1995, showing Kenwood immediately before the huge round of renovation that occurred at that time, and the attic was still laid out as seen here - with the exception of a small W.C. and wardrobe against the south-east wall of what had been the studio. It's possible that this was part of the Lennon attic, too.)
As chance, a fine thing, would have it, Joe Baiardi's video captures the very spot where this photo was taken. Note that the attic was, of course, gutted at this point; the red lines indicate the position of the wall as seen in the photo of John:

Finally, the window as it looked from the outside in 2008. Notice there are two windows, which were bisected, internally, by a wall during the Lennon-era (and beyond, judging by the '95 plan):

So, there we have it; the layout of the attic, a mystery no more. Many thanks once again to Ron de Bruijn, and, as ever, to Joe Baiardi.


  1. Wow. You are doing impressive work!

    This question is firmly in the category of picking pepper out of gnat sh*t, but how do you know which attic room remained a bedroom throughout the Lennon era?

  2. I don't, for sure. However, as that room John is standing in was a living room pre-renovation, I'd guess it remained so after - otherwise you would have had to walk through a bedroom to get to his studio. More likely that room was the "living room" referred to by Pauline Lennon. That leaves the other two rooms - one, or both, of which must have been a/the bedroom.

  3. R.I.P. Lucy in the Sky:


  4. Have you mentioned the famous blue window. It was in the living room in the attic according to the floor plan above. It was removed in the 80's and sent to a museum.