John buys Georgian mansion at Tittenhurst
John and Yoko buy the Tittenhurst estate in Berkshire. The couple paid £145,000 for the Georgian mansion and 72-acre grounds which had belonged to test pilot and business tycoon Peter Cadbury.
Though the couple only stay there for two years, much of our story takes place at Tittenhurst and it features large in Beatles folklore.
John and Yoko set up their own home studio, known as ASS (Ascot Sound System) and it is here that Lennon writes and records his most iconic solo music, including Working Class Hero, Power to the People and Imagine.
It is also the setting for the last ever group photos of the four Beatles taken together. It was here that Tariq Ali interviewed the couple who became aware of the UCS dispute which led to their donation at the heart of this story.
The building was built in 1737 with a new frontage added in 1830. Follow this link for more history on Tittenhurst.
It was actually bought by John’s publishing company – Maclen. After moving in on the 11th August John and Yoko lived here for just over two years. The couple spent twice the purchase price on renovations, including the creation of a lake – without planning permission – which they could see from their bedroom window.
The gardens, named Tittenhurst Park, had been open to the public until the Lennon’s moved in, they date back to 1763 (at a place then known as ‘Cracks Hole, in the Parish of Sunninghill’) and are internationally renowned among dendrologists for their scores of interesting and rare trees which Cadbury, son of chocolate magnate Sir Egbert Cadbury, had kept and tended.
Below is a fascinating arborial history of Tittenhurst featuring gardening enthusiast and former owner Peter Cadbury revealing the 300 year history of the gardens.