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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Sunday, 13 December 2009

Kenwood: sunroom plans - part 1.

Gerry Taylor has very kindly sent a scan of the original side elevation plan for the sunroom at Kenwood, together with some new information regarding its construction:
"My father built the Sunroom or Garden Lodge that Lennon had commissioned towards the end of 1964, and my father with his apprentice completed in February 1965. The sliding doors made of strengthened glass were an innovation then, and the idea was brought over by my father's partner who had travelled to America earlier in 1963. The motif on the front was added later by father on Lennon's request, and painted black and white. The entire project cost £300 at the time which was a fortune, and the glass doors a further £100 each. My father had the receipt some time ago, and whilst looking at the plan that I have sent you for the side elevation I have noticed that the gravel pit dug into the ground would have required planning permission, which was not sought during that period, and I am sure due to the structure that my father erected was later not sought either. I am certain that the later owners of the house Kenwood in Weybridge used the original footprint of the building to develop into a more comprehensive structure in the mid 1980s.
The dimensions were as follows:
Logs thickness 4.4 cm (spruce)
Construction style Interlocking, tongue & grooved
Width 800 cm / 26.24 ft (2 rooms)
Depth 400 cm / 13.12 ft + 100 cm veranda
Internal Dimension 7.71x3.71 m / 25.29 x 12.17 ft
Eaves height 2.2 m / 7.21 ft
Ridge height 2.5 m / 8.20 ft
Bearers 7.6x7.6 cm - pressure treated
Overhang 100 cm."
So, we now have a definitive date for the construction of the sunroom, and confirmation that it was indeed John who had it built in the first place. (This explains the fact that when I spoke to Ken Partridge earlier in the year, he seemed to have no recollection of any sunroom, which led to a degree of confusion. He obviously didn't remember it, because it didn't exist when he was working on the interior design at Kenwood.) We also now have exact measurements for the room, which will help the 3D reconstruction.
Interesting stuff, and Gerry says he will send the rest of the plan when he gets a chance, so many thanks to him.


  1. Why did John Lennon have this built?

  2. Speculation, but as I said in the previous post, I think it would likely have been to create an equivalent to the small room off the kitchen at Mendips, where John liked to hang out when at Mimi's.

  3. A creature of habit wasn’t he? All his wealth and he was still a simple blue collar man. In that big house with all those rooms in a posh neighborhood yet he still wanted his own small simple space to hide from the world and write, paint and create.

  4. what color was the front of the Sun-Room man ?

  5. It looks white, I have seen some pictures from this site, and it looks white as far as I can tell. There looks like a kind of black and white wooden overhang around the gutter area, maybe it was used to hide a gutter? I think it would be nice seeing what it looked like close up? I doubt if there are any clear pictures though? Did the builder make any others? Or did John Lennon have one alone?

  6. white, white interior, light blue carpets, pictures all over the back wall & piano to the right. Electric fireplace, built-in shelves and yellow sofa, round white table, two chairs, one small childs sofa and two arm chairs. Also, Japanese Screen, chest of drawers etc. It was pretty cluttered; but John was known to hoard a lot of things.. this was all cleared out when he divorced his wife Cynthia - and she took almost everything!

  7. He must have replaced the blue rug later on since the color photos show a yellow/orange tinted rug.

    Re the interior lights; I assumed there were two - one on either end recessed in the ceiling. The forward light is clearly visible in the Ringo & fan photo. I think you can almost see the rear light in the round mirror reflection (John in the blue chair).

    Gerry - thanks for sharing these. You’ve made a bunch of Beatle Maniac's very happy.

  8. Gerry, what can you tell us about the electric heater? Was this part of the original plans? Another reason why I think the ceiling was 8' is looking at the shelves - the sections are almost the same height.

    I'm thinking once your dad did the actual building he made some correct revisions to the plans. It’s not unusual for the hands-on craftsmen to make the right corrections to plans drawn off-site. All conjecture of course.

  9. Those long curtains in the Sunroom, were they done by Ken Partridge too?

  10. The electric fire looks like a Baxi coal-effect one bar fire.