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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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Mendips: back garden, 1979 & now.


You can, of course, now visit Mendips, and note for yourself the notably mock-Tudor view from John's old bedroom. One bit that remains off-limits (at least as far as an unaccompanied "shufti" goes), however, is the back garden. Above, a photo from circa 1979, showing the big tree there, upon which John once did squat, apparently.
From a slightly different angle, the same location these days:


The garden doesn't look much like it did back in the Mimi-era apparently (again), though there are currently attempts to put that right. I hope that a proper stroll round it is incorporated into the tour once that has been completed. Incidentally, a trip to the auld hoose is highly recommended, if you haven't already done so (and even if you have).
The tour, though a little on the short side, is excellent, and, best of all, you are given a few minutes at the end to wander round the house at will; John would, apparently (yet again), be very careful when going up the stairs at night, generally having come in a bit the worse for wear, not to wake Mimi by treading on those floorboards of a squeaky disposition: noting which these are, or humming a few bars of Slayer in the front porch provide considerable amusement.

4 comments:

  1. Totally agree - the tour is brilliant. I thought that the custodians had the personalities of the houses they ran too. The bloke at Mendips was very proper and straight (although a thoroughly nice guy), whereas the guy at Macca's house was a scouser with a great sense of humour who took us on a jolly jaunt around the place. Sums up the difference in the atmosphere at the houses with Mimi being quite stern and Jim being a fun loving kinda guy.

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  2. Yeah I went on the tour 2 years ago and it was fantastic. Being in the house where, as it was all happening, John would return to to get fed and to have a sleep! Then at the end I just stood in Johns room on my own for at least 5 minutes and imagined it was 1957 and John had just popped out! Ha! The visit to Paul's house after was just as jolly and yeah, the bloke there was funny, and he even LOOKED like a McCartney as he had one eyebrow higher than the other, just like Paul.

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  3. Interesting post. I was the gardener who dug that garden from back in 2003 when Yoko bought the place and gave it to the National Trust. I was a volunteer- long time Lennon fan so I thought ' fuck it'. I met Cousin Leila and a lot of other folk over the years. John did used to sit in the tree at the back of the garden- true. Our friend who lives in Ivy Vaughn's old house at the back, remembers John doing so. Lennon & Vaughn used to have inter-connecting garden gates. Also they had those tin-can homemade message things- Heath Robinson communiques. The student lodgers who shared the house, renting from Mimi, have been a great source of info. Some nice stories of JL in those days. You can email me via my blog for any old stories. Your Blog is the best Lennon source I know of.

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  4. That's a plum tree btw. Lots' of gooseberry bushes and apple trees' in the garden from John's days, still. I think the tree he would sit in/up, is gone however. It's the reference from STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER- "Noone I think is my tree- I mean it must be high or low..". Also references Mimi's continual warnings that JL would be 'hung' due to his constant going over the wall at Strawberry Field, the orphanage gardens, if he was caught. "Nothing to get hung about..."

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