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, 30 May 2010

Tittenhurst: 1969 & 1977.

More from Thomas Rhyner's 1977 Tittenhurst expedition. I've tried to match this batch to photos from the final Beatles photo session, dated 22 August, 1969. (Incidentally, was that the last time all four were actually together? There is rumour of a further business meeting in 1970, but I haven't seen confirmation. It would somehow be fitting, and also somehow sad, if the final meeting of les Fabs was indeed...thus.)
Anyway. The path from the house down to the Diana statue - Thomas seems to have been playing it canny, off in the foliage to the right; a wise move, given a threatened impending (and potentially irate) Richie:

Said path leads to said Diana, and to starboard one of the tallest Incense cedars in Blighty:

It would seem that the path and surround to the Diana statue had been allowed to grow back in by 1977: I think the following matches:


So the dinosaur wasn't a prop from Caveman after all. (That meisterwerk didn't spring forth until 1981, and I refuse to believe it had a gestation period of 4 years plus.) It looks like a t-rex. Ringo directed Born To Boogie, which I've never got round to actually watching (though I think part of it was filmed at Tittenhurst): So, something to do with Bolan, possibly. Or not.
Following a spot o' donkey business, and a memorable few minutes under Weeping Blue Atlas Cedars, the hirsute foursome (plus equally hairy entourage) made their way back towards the house. This area wasn't quite captured by Thomas...but near enough:

Grateful thanks are due not only once again to Thomas for so generously sharing his photos, but also to The Beatles' London, by the esteemed trio Schreuders, Lewisohn and Smith; their book documents the final photo session, and Tittenhurst topography, in exhaustive (and welcome) detail. (What about The Beatles' Britain?)


  1. Simply breathtaking photos!!! Superb!! I wish this house was not demolished when the new owners bought it from Ringo. Why on God's earth would someone do this to such a historic house. As if there wasn't enough property to build another mansion beside it? A fool as his money....

  2. Great pics! I didn't know that Tittenhurst had been domolished - I thought it was grade II listed so they couldn't demolish it. Gutted if that's the case though - a great piece of Beatles history gone forever. We should should set up a Beatles-related National Trust type organisation and get all known Beatles sites protected so that they have to remain as they were back in the day! Imagine if anything ever happened to Kenwood or Abbey Road? Doesn't bear thinking about...

  3. Has the main house been demolished, or just altered? I have a feeling it hasn't been completely knocked down, but the internal architecture is now different. The current owner didn't realise it was a listed building, and so made a lot of unauthorised "improvements"...and of course, by that point, what can you do? The grounds are very different now too. One more post featuring the rest of Thomas' pics to come.

  4. I had "read" somewhere that ruler of Abu Dhabi bought it and built a bigger palace on the grounds. I have not seen any pics of it recently but I do pray that this is NOT true.


  5. Great photos . Thank you Thomas.