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Friday, 18 September 2009

Knole Park: 1967 & 2009.

On the edge of Sevenoaks lies Knole Park. During a day of torrential rain, I decided to take the train down from London to see what remains of the locations familiar from the SFF/Penny Lane promos. The park is huge and rambling and home to the titular 15th century stately home, many deer, and an 18-hole golf course. Flying golf balls are a hazard, as are irate golfers, because the locale used by the boys over 3 days in late January/early February 1967 happens to be directly adjacent to hole number 7. Deer, sheltering under the trees, seemed to be thinking "What is this poor fool doing stumbling around in the rain?" I must confess there were points where I wondered myself. However...

Firstly the ruined wall; easy enough to find, though it is now fenced off.

The dead oak tree which served as the focus for the SFF film is long gone. Nevertheless, armed with the definitive Beatles' London (Schreuders, Lewisohn & Smith) guide, which states that the ground is scarred where the tree once stood, I managed to find a couple of possible locations. This is certainly the right area, though which of these is the actual bruise (and possibly neither are) I'm not too sure.

The ponds beside which the Beatles "dined" are now completely surrounded by ferns and bracken, which, as is their wont, have also overgrown the entire area, thus obscuring the view.

All the Knole locations encircle a house (the Birdhouse), not too far from the stately home itself. Again, these may well not be an exact, or even a partial match. But there we were, and are.


  1. No tree? How about this one, then? (Photo: 1996)

  2. this is really cool, thanks :)

  3. Nice one Sean, I always had a sneaking suspicion that this mission would be best left to the master! All the best, Jon Copestake

  4. Thanks for the kind words Jon - but it's really messrs Lewisohn, Schreuders and Smith who deserve any kudos; if it wasn't for the Beatles' London guide, I'd more than likely still be stumbling around there right now.

  5. Can anyone mark this places on Google Maps??? I was trying seeing the videos, your photos.. but it's impossible (I just locate the ruine portal, where the beatles ride the horses.. but nothing more)


  6. The Beatles' London book has maps - available on Amazon etc. Even with this, it is hard to locate the exact positions - inevitably things have changed in the 40+ years since the filming happened. (If anyone wants to do a Google Maps illustration, and send it to me, I'll add it to the post.)

  7. thanks very much for this article! I really enjoyed it :)
    Keep it up;)

  8. Simply brilliant work and writings as usual.

  9. No I do not think there would be a tree any longer as this seemed very much dying when they made the video. I did see a similar blog with a stump, which may have since been removed...thanks very much for your effort and research!